|Ottawa Citizen 26 February 1974|
CN Train slices tractor trailer
driver escapes without a scratch
A 19-year old truck driver miraculously escaped injury today when his tractor trailer was sliced in half by a CN train in a "bad dream" accident.
Rejean Lafrance 29, was driving along Merivale Road when the cab of his truck was knocked clear by a CN passenger train at a crossing near Capital Drive.
Lucien Turpin, 30, who was driving another truck at the time said "I was driving in front of my friend about 6-10 this morning when 25 feet away from the crossing the red light started to flash.
"It was too close to apply my brakes. I thought about braking but it was impossible to stop in time and I didn't want to stop my friend behind me.
"I looked in my rear mirror, saw the train coming and then half of the truck flying away."
He said his friend remained in the cab section of the trailer at all times, and that when he went to check on him "He didn't have a scratch on him."
When asked if he saw the train coming, Mr. Turpin said, "All I saw was the lights and the train in my side mirror."
By 8 a.m. the two halves of the truck had been hauled away and all that was left were the bales of paper strewn for about a fifth of a mile along the wreck.
No one in the train was injured.
On Jan 17, 2018 David Jeanes wrote:
I used train 48 twice in early 1974 to come to Ottawa for job interviews at Bell-Northern Research. On the first trip, I had an upper berth paid for by BNR. On the second trip, I covered my own expenses, so travelled coach.
About 6 am I awoke to a loud bang and looking out the window saw clouds of paper and snow flying around the train. The conductor or trainman opened the door so I got off and walked up to the locomotive. There was sheet metal wrapped around the nose and the engineer and fireman were looking at it rather stunned.
I walked to the back of the train, which had stopped just past the Merivale Road crossing. There was a truck cab on the road on one side of the crossing and a rear axle on the other side. The train had gone cleanly though the middle of the trailer and its load of heavy sheets of paper.
There were wedges of paper under most of the train's wheels, so it did not look like it would move anytime soon. A number of cars had stopped to look, including a taxi, and it seemed the truck driver was OK.
So I asked the taxi driver to take me to the BNR labs on Moodie Drive, and by 7 am I was tucking into eggs and bacon in the company cafeteria. I don't know what CN did about the missing coach passenger, though I may have told the conductor I was leaving.