Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1909, December 17 - Crossing fatality near Osgoode, CPR., Prescott sub.

Ottawa Citizen 18 December 1909

Mrs. T. Hunt of Osgoode Loses . Life While Driving.
(Special to the Evening Citizen.) Osgoode Station, Dec. 17. Mrs. Thomas Hunt, wife of a farmer residing near here, was instantly killed in a collision with the evening C.P.R. passenger train at Dillon crossing, two miles south of Osgoode station. The woman was in a buggy driving with some produce to market. It appears that, from the account of Mrs. Dillon, a woman who saw the accident, that the late Mrs Hunt lost control of the horse, which ran as though excited towards the crossing. It had just reached the rails when the train, going at twenty-five miles an hour, caught it in the rear, tore the shafts from the buggy, and threw the unfortunate woman about thirty feet. It appears that her head had struck a telegraph pole. Her head was terribly mutilated. When found life seemed almost extinct, although the pulse was still slightly beating. The horse was also killed. After the accident the train, which had gone past the crossing, about a hundred yards, was stopped and backed up and stayed for about five minutes. Local residents then looked after the body while the train went on to Osgoode Station, where the accident was reported and help sent by hand-car. The late Mrs. Hunt was about thirty-five years of age and the mother of three children, the youngest of which is six months old. She was a daughter of Mr. Edward Boyd, of Osgoode Station.
Dr. Baptie left this morning for Osgoode Station, where he will empanel a jury to hold an inquest.

Ottawa Citizen 23 December 1909

In Recent Crossing Fatality at Osgoode Station.
Negligence on the part of both Engineer Stewart and the late Mrs. T. Hunt of Osgoode station, was what, in the opinion of the coroner's jury, caused the death of the latter, who was struck by a train, and killed at Dillon crossing last Friday evening. The inquest was conducted yesterday by Coroner Baptie in a hall near Osgoode station, a large crowd being present, and over 12 witnesses were examined. The evidence did not satisfy the jury that the engineer had blown his whlstle or rung his bell for the crossing, and did show that deceased had her collar up, this preventing her from seeing the train to a certain extent.
As a rider to the verdict it was recommended that the approach to the crossing on the road should be widened sufficiently to give a horse room to turn.

Kemptville Weekly Advance 3 October 1910

$2,500 DAMAGES
To Family of Woman Killed by Train
The jury in the high court to-day gave $2,500 damages against the C.P.R. to Mr. Thomas Hunt and his children for the death of Mts. Hunt, who was killed Dec. 17 last. The damages were divided $1,000 to the husband and $600, $500 and $400 respectivelv for the three children. The action was for $50,000. The jury awarded damages for the loss of the horse and cutter, but as this was not entered in the claim it was not allowed by the judge.
This was a case for $50,000 damages, because at the death of Mrs. Hunt on December 17th last.  Mrs. Hunt was driving along a road near Osgoode station and turned on to a road which ran parallel with the C. P. R. tracks. This road, after running a few rods, crossed the tracks. As Mrs. Hunt neared the crossing, known as Dillon's crossing, the horse hastened its pace, and just as it was crossing the tracks the train, which had come up from behind, struck it, killing Mrs. Hunt, and also the horse. Mr. Hunt claimed damages because he maintained that the engineer had not observed the law by not sounding the whistle 80 rods before the crossing was reached, and that the fireman had also failed to do his duty in not ringing the bell from that point until the crossing was reached. He claimed that, if she had been thus warned the accident would not have occurred. It was acknowledged that the whistle was sounded as an emergency just before the crossing was reached and the emergency brakes applied.
The locomotive engineer, S. E. Stewart, testified that the whistle was sounded 80 rods away, and that as the train approached the crossing the horse, evidently frightened by the noise of the train, bolted and galloped towards the crossing. He gave two sharp whistles, hoping to turn the animal away, but it was in vain. The fireman swore that he was ringing the bell. Other members of the train crew gave evidence that they thought the whistle was sounded and the bell rung. The engineer said that just before reaching the crossing Mrs. Hunt turned and glanced back at the approaching train.
The strong witness for the plaintiff was Alex Tate, a farmer who was driving some distance behind Mrs. Hunt and was close to the whistling point (80 rods from the crossing) when the train passed ii [sic]. He was positive that the whistle was not sounded and the bell not rung at this point. Other witnesses swore that they did not hear the whistle or the bell. There was no evidence to indicate whether or not Mrs. Hunt lost control of the horse, which while only three years old, had been driven all summer.
The reason for the claim for damages being fixed so high was that the father, one daughter five years old, and two sons aged three years and eight months respectively all suffered Ioss by the death of the wife and mother.
Mr. A. B. Fripp, K.C., acted for Mr. Hunt and Mr. Hellmuth, K.C., assisted by Mr. W. L. Scott, acted for the company, Sir William Mulock was the presiding judge.

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