Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area



1933 December 1 - derailment hurls man to his death from the NYC bridge at Cornwall.



Ottawa Citizen 1 December 1933

Derailment hurls Cornwall man to death from bridge
Worker drowns in St. lawrence, One saves self
Joseph Meilleur, Cornwall, able to swim to shore but Adelard Tessier, stunned, is drowned
Another badly injured faling upon the ties
Section car was covering span between Cornwall and New York
Cornwall: One man is dead and another lies in a critical condition at Cornwall General Hospital as a result of derailment of a railway section motor car on the International bridge here this morning.
A triple investigation is being conducted by Ontario provincial police, the New York Central Railway and the Cornwall Northern New York International Bridge Corporation but the cause of the accident has not been determined yet.
The dead man is Adelard Tessier, 59, of Cornwall, who was drowned in the icy waters of the St. Lawrence river.  Henry Scott, 54, of Newington, is in hospital with both legs and a wrist fractured and suffering from other injuries.  Joseph Meilleur Sr, of 102 William street, Cornwall, is also in hospital, suffering from exposure and shock.
Leaped from rails
Tessier, Scott and Meilleur were members of a gang of 11 New York Central section workers from Cornwall travelling on the motor car from Cornwall to Rooseveltown, N.Y., where they were working today.
They were crossing the south channel span, between Cornwall Island and the New York State mainland, when the car leaped from the rails.  Despite the fact that the machine was travelling slowly, the shock of derailment tossed Tessier and Meilleur from their seats over the side of the bridge.  They plunged 40 feet to the water below and disappeared beneath the surface, Meilleur, a powerful swimmer, struck out for shore and battled the strong current for more than 10 minutes before he reached Cornwall Island, 200 feet away.  Tessier, stunned by the fall and weighed down by heavy clothing, struggled but briefly before disappearing beneath the surface.
Search for body
A search for the body has not yet been successful.  Scott did not go over the side of the bridge but fell between the ties in such a way that he suffered extensive injury. He was taken to Cornwall General hospital at once, where his condition is reported to be most critical.  Meilleur is not believed to be in danger unless complications set in.  The railway bridge is being converted into an international vehicular bridge and the span on which the accident happened is under construction.

Ottawa Citizen 17 May 1934

Inquest at Cornwall
Coroner C.J. Hamilton will open an inquest at the court house here at two o'clock Friday afternoon, into the death of Adelard Tessier, New York Central Railway section worker, who was drowned in the St. Lawrence river on December 1 last.  Tessier, while riding to work on a section motor car, was thrown into the river when the car was derailed on the south channel bridge.  His body was found near the south shore of Cornwall Isand 3 1/2 miles below the bridge, last Thursday.



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