Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area



1887, 16 March - Baggage car on a Canadian Pacific train overturns when approaching Union Station, Chaudiere. One fatality.



Ottawa Journal 17 March 1887

Crushed to death.
Baggagage man Veitch's fatal leap from a moving train at the Union Depot.
While the 10:30 train up from Montreal was bowling into the Union Station last evening the baggage train [sic] jumped the track and upset killing the baggage master Mr. Wallace Veitch. The following account was obtained from Mr. James Lee of Buckingham who was in the baggage car at the time the mournful accident occurred.
Wallace Veitch is a young man about 23 years of age and was employed by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company as baggage master on the local train between Ottawa and Montreal, his father Mr. W.M. Veitch being conductor on the same train. When the baggage car jumped the track, Veitch immediately jumped up and pulled the bell rope and the car thumped over the ties for about forty feet and then stopped for about half a minute, then went on again, the engineer supposing everything was all right. The baggage car began to run over the ties again and Veitch sprang to the door opened it and jumped out just as the car toppled and fell over. The poor man never uttered a cry, the car falling upon him and instantly killing him. As far as could be judged the car continued dragging along on its side for about 40 feet when it stopped. All this time Lee was inside the car and was badly bruised by the trunks and other baggage which pinned him to the car floor. After the train stopped the car door was broken open and Mr. Lee taken out. Veitch's body was also extracted from underneath the car, it having been dragged 40 feet. The body was frightfully mangled and was almost unrecognizable. It was a heartrending scene to see poor Veitch's father when he saw the mangled body of his son. The body of the unfortunate man was taken to the Station house, where it remained until this morning, when it was removed to the residence of the father of the deceased. No cause whatever is known for the car jumping the track, none of the switches being open, as it was only the baggage car which left the track

Ottawa Citizen 17 March 1887

A very sad accident happened at the Union depot last evening about 10:30 just as the local train from Montreal on the C.P.R. was coming in.  When about 50 yards from the station the baggage car ran off the track.  Wallace Veitch, the baggageman, was inside, and immediately prepared to jump.  Just as he sprang from the car it overturned, and falling upon him crushed him to death.  The side of the car was chopped through to get to the body, which was found a shapeless mass, crushed beyond recognition.  The sight was a horrible one, and the spectators, of whom a large number had gathered, turned away sickened at the horrible spectacle.
The deceased was a young man having 22 or 23 years of age.  He was the son of W.M. Veitch, conductor on the C.P.R. and had himself been employed on that road for three of four years.  He had been in the summer months, conductor on the Buckingham branch line which is not operated in the winter.  His father was utterly prostrated with grief at the loss of his son and heartfelt sympathy was expressed for him on all sides at the station last evening.



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Updated 19 April 2020