|Ottawa Citizen 7 October 1949|
New Autos Smashed In Crossing Mishap
Trailer Wrecked By Train
Heavy Damage Near Britannia
When a CNR passenger train bound for Pembroke cut a heavily-laden automobile transport in two at the Graham Bay crossing, cne-ard-a-half miles west of Britannia at 9.20 o'clock this morning, John "Curly" Newell, 39-year-old driver of the trarport escaped unhurt, but two brand new motor cars being delivered to an Ottawa dealer were wrecked. Three other new cars were undamaged in the spectacular crash.
Failing to notice the train until he was almost on the crossing. Newel: realized it was too late ta halt his heavy tractor-trailer vehicle He told The Evening Citizen that he took a "100 to one" gamble by stepping on the gas in an effort to clear the crossing in iront of the speeding train, but lost out when the locomotive knifed through the two-decker car trailer, completely shearing off the rear section.
One motor car, destined for Patterson Motors here, was tossed 30 ft under the impact and landed north-east of the crossing a tangled, twisted mass of metal and glass. The second car toppled from the still intact part of the trailer as the vehicle continued in motion and was badly damaged when it hit the pavement and rolled off the highway.
The locomotive, in charge of Engineer L. J. Turner, of 145 Echo Drive, and Fireman Herbert Roach, of 98 Gilmour Street, suffered some damage to the front portion but the train, in charge of Conductor W. M. Swinwood, 110 Clegg Street, was able to continue on to Pembroke after a 25-minute halt 500 yards north-west of the crossing where it came to a stop following the crash.
The engineer stated that the locomotive's whistle had been blowing as the train approached the crossing. Neither he nor the fireman noticed the transport vehicle until it suddenly appeared cn the tracks dead ahead, Turner told The Citizen. He immediately applied his emergency brakes but it was impossible to bring his train to a halt in time to avoid the mishap.
The transport driver told The Citizen that when the locomotive sliced through the trailer air brake lines were severed and the trailer was without braking power. Fearing that if he jammed on the tractor brakes the trailer might whip about to the danger of several oncoming motorists. Newell brought his vehicle to a gradual stop while the torn and shattered rear-end of the trailer dragged along the highway for more than 300 feet.
Newell, whose home is at 1438 Queen Street East, Toronto, said he had picked up his load of five new cars at Windsor yesterday afternoon to deliver them to Patterson Motors in Ottawa. He was alone in the cab of his tractor when the accident accurred and escaped without a scratch.
A group of section men who were working just south of the crossing stated that they heard the whistle of the locomotive blowing for some time before the train reached the crossing. Newell told police that he had not heard the whistle.
Trees and shrubs make the crossing a partially blind one to motorists approaching from the west and, Newell stated, he had no intimation of the train's approach until he was within a few feet of the tracks.
The accident was investigated by Provincial Cpl. Carl Johns and Constables William Gilchrist and James Burke.