|Ottawa Citizen 14 March 1964|
Friday 13th crossing crashes kill five
A 22-year-old taxation employee was killed in a Scott Street level crossing crash at Tunney's Pasture Friday afternoon, seven hours after a car-speeder collision on Wood-roffe Avenue which killed four men.
George William LeBel of 563 Chapel St. was killed when the car he was riding in was struck by the westbound Canadian Pacific transcontinental train at Ross Street.
Shortly after 9 a.m. yesterday, which was Friday 13th, Willis White. 60, of RR 2 Bells Corners, Antoine Per-rier, 48, of Moose Creek, and John Passaw, 29, of Renfrew were killed when their light track car was struck by an auto.
A fourth man, James Knox McLean, 59, of 3011 Base Line Rd., died in the Civic Hospital about 6 p.m.
The Scott Street mishap was preceded by a number of coincidences which contributed to the crash.
A fire drill at 4.10 p.m. sent income tax employees home seven minutes earlier than usual.
LeBel, with Edward Lane, IS, of 702 Chapel was walking towards the bus stop when Rolf Posma, 22, of 187 Second St. stopped his car and asked the pair if they wanted a lift.
"As Rolf started up he and Bill were joking about something. Rolf had his head turned towards Bill.
"The next thing I knew we were about five feet from the tracks and I saw the train and heard the whistle. Rolf stopped the car but it was on the tracks. He tried to put the car in reverse but the gears jammed and the car wouldn't move forward or backwards. He swore.
"I sat there and waited for the train to hit. I grabbed onto something in the back of the car, I don't know what it was. It w as only about a second or two from the time I saw the train until it hit.
"I sat there and watched the train hit. It spun the car around in a circle."
"I got out of the car and looked around for Bill. I couldn't see him but Rolf was about 20 feet away beside the tracks.
I ran down to see if he was still alive.
"Bill had been thrown about 10 feet. His head had struck the curb. He was dead when I got to him," he said.
Lane was treated at the hospital for minor injuries. Posma, badly shaken up, was admitted for observation but his condition was reported as good.