Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1907, January 3 - Collision between a freight train and a streetcar at Beechwood Avenue, 1 killed, 5 injured.

RG 46 C-II-1 v. 1423 f. 6652

Freight train, extra 1236, collided with electric car on crossing at St. Patrick Street at 13:15.  One labourer, A. Wank, was killed and three passengers on electric car, conductor and motorman were injured. The electric car failed to stop before crossing the diamond and the motorman failed to take the necessary precautions to observe the CP freight train approaching the diamond running backwards.  A. Wank, a labourer working for the City of Ottawa, while at the side of the track cleaning the earth they were throwing up from below on to the railway right of way, was killed instantly.  The Corporation was digging a tunnel under the railway track to put a drain pipe.  The Foreman, Sidney Sherwood, was about 75 feet from the railway track when he heard the whistle blow and immediately warned his men on the north side of the track and then crossed over the track and warned his men on the south side, and when he turned towards Beechwood Avenue he saw the electric car coming from New Edinburgh, he then jumped into the centre of the street railway track and signalled; the motorman took no notice of him until he was within a car's length of the railway track when he slowed up coming almost to a stop for a second and looked in the direction the train was coming, and saw it within a short distance from the diamond. It appears then that, instead of stopping, he turned on the full power and the car started ahead at full speed and was struck right on the diamond.  Brakeman Mccarthy was on top of the first car at the brake end, which was the far end, and noticed that the trolley car was stopping on the curve at the place shown on the blueprint as No. 1, being about 7 or 8 yards from the railway track.  He naurally thought that the car had stopped to let them go by when he saw that it had started again, he made up his mind that at the speed they were running, 10 - 12 mph, they would come in collision and gave signal to the engineer to stop.  The brakes were immediately applied at emergency, but could not stop until they had struck and run 165 feet past the diamond,  It also appears that the car had stopped on the curve on account of the trolley being off the trolley wire and while the conductor was putting on the trolley one passenger got on and the conductor followed him in the car and never noticed the train coming when he gave the bell signal for the motorman to go on and the motorman turned on the power and proceeded.  When the car stopped to fix the trolley, the conductor had a clear view of 600 feet in the direction the train was coming and had he looked he could not have helped seeing it as he had only 64 feet to run on to the diamond.

A clear case of carelessness on the part of conductor Soublier and motorman Fleigel, and they are responsible for this accident.
Conductor Crawford of the CPR train was not in charge of his train at the time of the accident,  He remained at Chaudiere Junction and sent out his brakeman with the train to Sussex Street Station while he claimed he had some other duties to attend to.  This is contrary to CPR rules not that he could have done any better than brakeman McCarthy.

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Updated August 2016