Ottawa Citizen 5 September 1952
Truck Driver Decapitated By Train.
Wreckage Litters Crossing
Robert Garlough Killed Instantly
An Ottawa truck driver met swift death in a level crossing accident at the city's southern outskirts while on his way to work early this morning.
he victim, Mahlon Robert Garlough, 51, River Road, Billings Bridge, was alone when his truck hit the side of a CPR passenger train at a crossing on the Hunt Club Road, 500 yards west of the Metcalfe Highway.
On Way To Work
Eyewitnesses said Garlough had been driving his truck east on the Hunt Club Road, on his way to work at the George Spratt gravel pit.
Although the engineer of the speeding train applied the emergency brakes in an effort to bring his train to a stop, he was unable to avert a collision.
Garlough was instantly killed when the cab of his truck was sliced off and tossed high into the air. His decapitated body was found only a few feet from the roadway but pieces of the truck were strewn for 300 yards down the railway right-of-way.
The train was the regular passenger pool train No. 34, from Toronto to Ottawa. It was due in the Capital at 7.40 this morning and the accident happened at approximately 7.45 a.m., according to city police who investigated. The train, first section of the overnight CPR-CNR passenger to Ottawa, was held up for an hour and three-quarters until officials finished their preliminary enquiry.
The second section was flagged by members of the first train and was also held up until the line was cleared and both trains proceeded to the Union Station.
"A Miracle"Bystanders at the scene said it was a miracle that the crack train was not derailed by debris of the truck which littered the track.
Last man to see Garlough just before he drove his truck on to the crossing, was William Heron, who lives on the Hunt Club Road. a few hundred yards west of the crossing.
"He waved to me and said 'hello' as he drove past me on the road." Mr Heron said. "He worked for George Spratt., hauling gravel, and was on his way to work at the gravel pit."
Hears ImpactMr Heron said he heard the impact of the collision and knew something had happened.
``I saw the body of the truck go up it must have been 15 feet in the air before it crashed to the ground, when I got there the man was beyond any human help. He must have died inistantly.
"It's a very dangerous crossing and something certainly should be done about it," Mr. Heron added.
Vision ClearThe road was dry at the time and the vision was clear but some think Garlough may have been blinded by the rising sun and did not hear or see the approaching train coming from the south.
Spectators at the scene following the crash found pieces of the truck scattered along the side of the track and across the fence for a distance of three telephone poles. The engine, clutch and grill were among the parts carried farthest, about 250 yards from the point of the impact.
Dr. Charles E. Shapiro viewed the body at the scene and ordered it removed to the morgue at the Civic Hospital by Exclusive Ambulance.
Constable Morits Nash was was first member of the Ottawa police to reach the site of the crash. He was followed by Sgt. Walter Hudson and Sgt. Roland Beauchamp who completed their Investigation for the city police,
In Charce Of Train
In charge of the train was Conductor A. Cammack, of Toronto. Other members of the train crew were H. Creighton. 235 Carruthers Street and Fireman A. Labrle, 115 Amherst Street.
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