|Ottawa Citizen 5 March 1960|
Drivers View Blocked at Crossing Says Jury
A coroner's jury last night divided the blame for a train-car collision which caused the death of Walter Amisson, at the CPR Roosevelt Avenue crossing on January 9.
After nearly an hour's deliberation the jury under the formanship of John Sylvain, 211 Blackburn Avenue , brought in a verdict criticising the leaving of construction equipment adjacent to the railway. They also held that the deceased contributed partially to his own death "by driving his car while his abilities were impaired by alcohol."
Amisson was killed when struck by a double dayliner of the CPR on the Brockville-Ottawa run.
Coroner Dr. W. T. Kendall heard 16 witnesses.
The jury recommended steps to avoid such accidents in future. Their verdict read in part:
"We feel that such accidents might be avoided if construction equipment was removed, far enough from railway crossings or intersections to give an adequate view of approaching trains or traffic."
Evidence at the inquest indicated that the view at the fatal crossing was impeded by shovels and embankments where a water main excavation was being mads along the CPR right of way and a detour existed.
Several witnesses said they heard the train sound its horn before the accident occurred.
The car was thrown 35 feet by the impact, while the driver was hurled 104 feet to the platform of an unused station near by.
Engineer Kenneth W. Cope, 732 Byron Avenue, said he passed a whistle post a quarter of a mile from the crossing. He sounded the usual crossing warning and turned on his bell. He reduced speed by some 20 miles an hour.
"I did not see the car until I was about 25 feet away," he said. "He seemed about to make it across alright but then slowed down. I kept the horn blowing and applied the brakes. My headlight was on. It was about 4.30 p.m."
At the time of the impact the engineer said his speed was under 50 miles an hour.
Police Constable Emmett Ryan, of the city police said he visited the scene of the crash shortly after the accident. He crossed the same crossing in the same direction as the deceased.
"The detour was rough," he said. "I had to proceed at about 15 miles an hour. To see the oncoming train I would have had to turn almost around and look through the left rear window. It would be difficult to see an oncoming train under the circumstances."