|Ottawa Citizen 24 July 1989|
An off-duty Gloucester firefighter was killed Sunday afternoon when his pickup truck was hit by a train near Carlsbad Springs. It was one of eight weekend fatalities in the area.
Larry Cashman, 31, of Carlsbad Springs, was taking a day off, said Marcel Budd, his platoon chief and friend.
Cashman, who was married with two young sons, had been with the Gloucester department for about three years, said Budd.
"It's pretty quiet around here today. He was well-liked by everybody. He was a good natured lad."
Cashman was southbound on Sand Road, three kilometres east of Carlsbad Springs, when his vehicle was struck by a VIA Rail passenger train, said Rockland OPP Sgt. Garry Latendresse.
Cashman, who was visiting friends in the area, was alone in the truck, said Latendresse.
There are no warning lights or gates at the level crossing, said Latendresse. It is marked by two signs.
Ottawa Citizen 26 July 1989
Safety problems unlikely
An off-duty Gloucester firefighter who died when his truck collided with a VIA Rail passenger train was probably being inattentive, police said Tuesday.
Ontario Provincial Police in Rockland said there appear to be no safety problems at the railway crossing where Larry Cashman, 31, of Carlsbad Springs, died Sunday.
Cashman was travelling along Sand Road, three kilometres east of his home, when his vehicle was struck at the crossing. Because the crossing is not used a great deal, it is marked by signs instead of flashing lights or bells.
"We think it's just a lack of attention on the driver's part," said Const. Craig McCormick. "There is no indication to tell us something outside would have caused the accident."
However, McCormick said the case will not be closed until after the National Transportation Agency completes its investigation of the safety at the crossing.
Agency spokesman Garry McLaughlin said his report should be ready within a month.
Ottawa Citizen 3 August 1989
Cooling units eyed as links in car
Sound could drown out oncoming trains
Investigators believe loud auto air conditioners may have been a factor in the railway-crossing death of a Gloucester man and 14 similar fatalities in July.
Garry McLaughlin said the 1987 pickup truck driven by Gloucester firefighter Larry Cashman had air conditioning and he was driving with his windows up when killed by a train near his Carlsbad Springs home July 23. The temperature that day was 31.5 degrees
But McLaughlin, of the National Transportation Agency, said he does not have all investigation reports yet and cannot say how many of the other vehicles had air conditioning.
"If there is a possible common factor, it is that it was abnormally hot," he said.
"It's common sense that when you drive with your windows up and an air conditioner and radio on, you increase the risk" of not hearing a train's whistle or bell at crossings equipped with them.
The little-used crossing at which Cashman was killed, like most other fatal accident sites last month, was unprotected. It did not have a ringing bell or flashing lights. Motorists are warned of an approaching train by the engine's whistle.
McLaughlin said drivers should slow down and open a window when approaching any unprotected level crossing.