Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1908, December 3 - Head on collision Pembroke, Canadian Pacific.

Head on collision between passenger train 78, engine 207 and 3 cars and extra west engine 312. This was caused by the failure of engine #312 to clear for No. 78.  The collision occurred at 07:55, the engineer's watch was found to have stopped at 07:36.  The engineer of the passenger train, Fred Rowe, was killed.

LAC C54469

Chesterville Record 12/10/1908  

Another fatal wreck took place one and a half miles east of here on Thursday morning.  A light engine from Smiths Falls collided with the CPR local leaving here at 7.50 and as a result, Fred Rowe of Ottawa, engineer in charge of the local was instantly killed and R. Crawford, Ottawa fireman; Mail Clerk Purcell, Engineer Nagle, Smiths Falls, and W.C. Both, Baggageman, suffered slight injuries.  The baggage car of the passenger train was badly damaged but none of the passengers were hurt.  Both train and engine were travelling at high speed and met on a curve.  Both engines were badly wrecked.  The engines were almost to each other before the danger was noticed.  Engineer Rowe reversed immediately, and in doing so warned Fireman Crawford, who jumped and escaped with a sprained ankle and minor bruises.

Rowe was pinned beneath the engine and tender. Death was instantaneous.  His head and shoulders were above the wreckage, but were scorched.  His lower limbs were also burned and scalded.  Fireman Patton of the light engine was going to jump when he was hurled out of the window and down the bank sustaining a number of bruises,  Engineer Nagle got caught at the tender by the coal, which was piled on him.  He was quickly released by the men passengers and was able to walk to the station, as he had only a number of bruises and his leg scalded.

The light engine should have stopped at Granges (should be Graham) Station, about ten miles east of here.  Instead an effort was made to get to Pembroke and the fatal collision was the result.  The engineers watch had stopped which misled him as to the time he should make to Pembroke.

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Updated August 2016