Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1914, January 22 - Derailment at Meath, Canadian Pacific, Chalk River subdivision, 1 killed, 11 injured.

Train #19, engine 2609 and six cars derailed as a result of a broken rail at Meath, about mileage 96 (from Broad Street), some of the cars plunging down the embankment on the north side of the track.  Sleepers "Bolton" and "Guernsey", first class  1597, second class 1991, baggage 4159 and mail car 3492.  The engine remained on the track while the rest of the train derailed. The cars were all in good condition.

Rideau Record  ? January 1914
Wreck Near Pembroke
C.P.R. Winnipeg Express Jumps the Rails - One Passenger Killed

The C.P.R. westbound Winnipeg express was wrecked near Meath this morning about five o’clock. Meath is a station about 14 miles from Pembroke and about a quarter of a mile west of there the fast rushing train met with disaster. A broken rail is supposed to have been the cause. The first and second-class cars were thrown on their sides and one Pullman partly tipped over. One passenger Mrs. Salmon was killed and nine others were more or less seriously injured. Mrs. Salmon had been visiting Cobden and had been on the train only a few minutes when the smash-up happened. She was thrown out of the car through a window and the car fell on her. Her husband who was sitting near her was thrown out through another window and escaped injury. Among the injured is conductor Thos. Carter, formerly of Smiths Falls but he is not seriously hurt. It seems almost miraculous that such a wreck could occur with such a small death list and so few injured. Doctors were hurried from Pembroke by special train and by nine o’clock all the injured and al the passengers were being carried there. The auxiliary went up from Smiths Falls to clear the track.

Renfrew Mercury 2? January 1914
Accident on C.P.R. Ten Miles East of Pembroke
A dispatch from Pembroke says: The Soo train no.19 which left Montreal at 10:30 Wednesday night was wrecked by the spreading of a rail at Meath, ten miles east of Pembroke, early Thursday Morning. One passenger was killed and about fifteen injured, seven of whom have been removed to Pembroke Hospital. The dead passenger is Mrs. J.J. Sammon of Sudbury, who with her husband and two-year-old-child, had been visiting at Os??ula, and boarded the train a few stations where the wreck occurred. Her husband and child escaped.

Pembroke Standard 23 January 1914
Soo train wrecked near Meath
One killed and several injured in bad accident - broken rail or faulty wheel is supposed to be the cause.
List of Killed and Injured.
For the third time in the space of a few months the C.P.R. line between Pembroke and Ottawa has been the scene of a railway disaster and as far as can be ascertained the cause appears to be the same as on previous occasions, a fault in the permanent way. Whether this be the case or not, yesterday's wreck, while not resulting in a long death roll such as it might easily have done, presented a scene of desolation and disaster which was intensified by the cold and gloom of a winter morning.  Whether the rails were to blame or, as has been suggested, a flange on one of the cars was broken, is not yet known, but from information received from one of the passengers, it appears that just before the train turned over it appeared to be going at an excessive rate of speed. The engine fortunately remained on the tracks and it is probable that the deep snow which lined the embankment broke the force when the first and second class passenger cars took their dive down the steep incline.  Word was quickly sent to the nearest points  for assistance and several of Pembroke's medical men answered the call.  Fortunately the demands on their services were lighter than at first seemed probable and those who suffered from cuts and bruises were quickly attended to.  Some idea of the difficulties surrounding their work may be gathered from the fact that the baby belonging to Mr. Pandeneau was found with its clothes frozen hard as it had become saturated with blood from a deep gash in its father's head and had also been deluged with water from one of the tanks.  The only fatality occurred to Mrs. James Sammon who boarded the train at Cobden and had barely settled down to her home in Sudbury when the wreck occurred.  Her husband who accompanied her feeling the train lurch reached forward to steady her but too late when she was thrown through the window as the car turned over down the embankment.  With wonderful presence of mind he secured the child which would undoubtedly have been killed had he not shielded it from the shock.  Mr. Sammon was tightly wedged under the car and it was some little time before he could be released.  The baby was near him crying but so far as could be seen uninjured.  Mrs. Sammon was beyond human aid  and must have been instantly killed by the weight of the car which had dragged her for some distance.
Yesterday morning the town presented a strange aspect, men with bandaged heads passing to and from the hospitals where they had gone to have their wounds attended to.  The Copeland House was a scene of great activity and Mr. T.A. Sammon and his large staff were kept busy with rendering what assistance they could to the sufferers and getting the best information procurable as to train arrangements for those who were anxious to resume their journeys.  Mr. James Sammon and his little child were the centre of observation and exprssions of deepest sympathy for them were general.  Enquiries at the General Hospital this morning reveal that Mrs. Lepage and Conductor Thomas Carter are both seriously injured but rested fairly well during the night. 
Expressions of gratitude for the many acts of kindness received were general from all who were detained by the disaster and the solicitude displayed by the medical men, the Hospitals and Mr. T.A. Sammon at the Copeland House were sincerely appreciated.
At the inquest held by Dr. G.E. Josephs evidence was taken from Mr. James Sammon, husband of the deceased lady, the engineer, fireman and brakesmen of the wrecked train, and the roadmaster.  Mr. Sammon's evidence was on the lines of statements already published and the train officials claimed that the speed was not more than thirty miles an hour.  The road was examined the previous afternoon.  The jury returned a verdict of accidental death from causes unknown.

Ottawa Journal Friday 23 January 1914

CONDUCTOR T. F. CARTER, of 76 Rochester street, who sustained a broken shoulder and two fractured ribs in the derailment of the Soo Express early yesterday morning. Despite his injuries, Conductorr Carter pluckily rode up to Pembroke immediately after the accident and wired in a report to headquarters. He has been railroading for thirty years and this makes but the second accident he has been in

Tragedy Near Pembroke Yesterday to be Probed.
Pembroke Jan. 23. (Special)  A Jury waas empannelled yesterday to hold an inquest over the body of Mrs. J. J. Sammon,. the victim of the Meath wreck.
Dr. Geo. K. Josephs is coroner and Messrs. Jas. Anderson, C. Panke, Gus Schroeder, F.W. Chambers, W. Powers, A.H. Box, A.E Cockburn and Geo. Andrews are the jurymen. The Jury met at 2 p.m. in the town hall und viewed the body; but owing to the inability of several of the witnesses to attend it was postponed until today.
Dr.Hurtubise, of Sudbury, who was on the train at the time of the accident, did splendid work for the wounded passengers at the time of the accident.

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Updated 25 March 2018