Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1910, April 22 - Collision between Kingston and Pembroke train and Kingston, Portsmouth and Cataraqui Electric streetcar, some injuries

From Kingston Daily British Whig 22 April 1910

Struck car
Collision on the Montreal Street crossing,
Engine hit the car
Crushed in the side of the electric van.
There were quite a few passengers on board - a little girl badly cut about the head - a commercial traveler had his back itrained. Ruth Doyle, age 9, seriously injured about head and face.
C. L. O. Lampe age 55, seriously injured about head and back.
James Watson, aged 12, slightly injured about face.
Irene Doyle, age 11, slightly injured on face and legs.
Thelma McDermott, age 10, slightly injured about face.
Lillian McDermott, age 12 slightly injured.
At 12.10 o'clock today the Kingston and Pembroke train number 1, crashed into street car number 15 at the railway crossing, Montreal Street, completely wrecking the car and dealing out serious injuries to some of the passengers, in fact none of the nine people in the car escaped without a few bruises. As shown in the above list, with only one exception all those injured were young tots, on the way home from school for the noonday meal.
Just how the accident occurred could not to be clearly as ascertained. It seems that the Motorman, William Brown, thought he had ample time to cross and the engineer of the train, James Harmer thought he had the same. The nose of the locomotive struck the car just in the center, rear of the stove, making kindling wood of one side, and fairly throwing the twelve-ton car completely across the road. Fortunately the car remained upright and to this fact alone more than one passenger owes his or her life.
The passengers were nearly all seated on the right hand side of the car and little Ruth Doyle, the 9 - year old daughter of John Doyle, 693 Montreal street, was seated just beside the stove, right in line with the locomotive when it struck. Besides her were seated her two sisters, Edith next Irene, and her brother Norman. On the other side of the car Mr. Lampe, and another traveler who was not injured and who left on the train for the west was seated. The motorman was in front and, and the conductor, James Beseau was on the rear platform. James Watson, a young lad, was standing on the step of the car, and just inside the car door and the two little McDermott girls, Thelma and Lillian, were seated. This according to one of the children was the layout of things just before the accident happened.
Miss Doyle's story.
Irene Doyle, aged 11 years, was seen at her home by a Whig representative and she said as they came down towards the track she could see the locomotive coming, and it seemed as if it must strike the car.
"When we came close I ran out of the door, and just got outside when it struck us and I was thrown on the sidewalk on my face." This is all the little girl could say and could not tell how the rest got out or where they went. The little girl was greatly frightened and in severe pain, suffering from a severe bruise on the forehead, and bruises and scratches on her legs, but with it all she told in a clear voice all she knew about the accident.
Ruth Doyle, sister of the absent girl, aged 9, suffered the most severe injuries. She sat, as stated above, just beside the stove, and, when the locomotive struck the car, she was thrown across the car, but managed to keep her feet and get near the door. She was struck by either a piece of the stove on the window glass, and received a very severe cut on the left side of the face, from the eye straight back across the face cutting the ear completely in two and cutting down in the neck. The cut was right into the bone, and whether the skull was injured or not could not to be found out at the time of going to press as the child was still on the operating table at the Hotel Dieu. Injured as she was the little girl, as soon as she got out of the car, ran over a block down Montreal Street to her house, arriving at the door fairly bathed in blood, and just able to stand. She was later removed to the Hotel Dieu.
C. L. C. Lampe, the traveler, was also badly injured, the worst injury being to his back, which was severely strained. He was knocked unconscious and removed to the Randolph hotel and later to the hospital.
All the other injured what able to look after themselves to a certain extent the injuries being only slight ones.
The news of the smash-up spread like wildfire and wild rumors were around the city, that some were killed and some maimed for life, but fortunately both proved wrong. When one stopped and looked at the car as it lay smashed beyond all repair on the road side it could not but say it was indeed a kind Providence that kept the passengers from being killed. The car will be broken up on the spot as it is smashed completely in two, the only thing being of any value being the motors.
All the passengers suffered greatly from fright and especially the children. Motoman Brown and conductor Beseau deserve credit for the way they stuck to their posts, remaining with the car until it came to a standstill. Brown was quite unnerved and when he went down to Mr. Doyle's to see how the little girl was he came nearly losing consciousness.
It was a wild scene for a few moments, with the crowds gathering around, cabs, ambulances, automobiles and locomotives racing hither and thither, and every few moments someone with a bloody face, dusty clothes, or a very serious countenance would be seen pushing through the crowd on the way to the city.
Superintendent Hugh Nickel, President Harry Richardson, Drs. Hanley, Garrett, Gardiner and Sparks was soon on the scene and gave first aid to all those injured.
Corbett's ambulance brought C. L. Lampe, of Frederick, Maryland, a traveler for the Preservaline Manufacturing company, Brooklyn, to the Randolph hotel where Dr. Keyes attended to him. Mr. Lampe was knocked unconscious when the collision occurred and did not remember what transpired. He received a few slight cuts about the head and his back was badly strained. He will be forced to remain in his room for a day or so. He was leaving the city at the time. He was to be removed to the hospital this afternoon for treatment.
The law requires that streetcars should stop at railroad crossings before attempting to cross, and this rule has been pretty faithfully observed by the employees of the local electric line. There is a semaphore on the side of the track nearest the city and this is pulled down by the car conductor, who gets off as the car stops. When the car passes over, the semaphore is put back into its former position, and the conductor returns to the car. Hence accidents are impossible when the rules are carried out by those who operate the car.
One of the Kingston and Pembroke Railway engines was rushed to the scene, as soon as possible with men and equipment necessary to clear the tracks, but it was 1:30 before the line was cleared and the train ready to proceed on its way to Renfrew. As a result of the accident, the Kingston and Pembroke railway missed connections with the fast trains at Sharbot Lake.
F. Conway, Acting Superintendent of the K. & P. Railway, was at dinner when the accident happened, but as soon as word was sent to him, he hurried to the scene in a cab.
A large crowd of citizens gathered at the scene, as the news of the accident spread like fire. All afternoon there was a line of people going out Montreal street to see the wrecked street car.
Semaphore not up.
Later enquiries revealed the fact that the semaphore at the crossing for which the street railway company is responsible, has not been in working order for some time, and it was not put up on this occasion. Engineer Harmer, of the K. &  P. train, stated that when his locomotive reached the semaphore, which is 300 yards from the crossing, he saw the streetcar standing still on the city side of the crossing. When the locomotive rounded the curve and came to the straight run for the crossing, he was shocked to see the car loom up right in front of him on the crossing. He was running at the rate of only four miles an hour at the time. As soon as he saw the streetcar on the crossing he reversed and the passengers of the train received quite a shaking, but the engineer by his quick work, saved the lives of several people.
Had the locomotive been running at any kind of speed, there would have been a catastrophe. Things were bad enough, but might have been five times greater.
Engineer Harmer said that there was no semaphore signal. If there had been, his locomotive would have been stopped at once. It seems that the semaphore cannot be worked. Complaints have been made during the past few months about the way the street car crosses the tracks, and it is not long ago that a couple of street railway employees were dismissed by the company for not carrying out orders in regard to crossing the K. & P. tracks on Montreal Street. The company's regulations are strict in that regard. Latterly, the conductor has been getting off the car and looking up and down the railway tracks to see that all was clear. In this case it looks as if the car employee thought there was ample time to get across before the train reached the crossing.

From the Montreal Gazette 23 April 1910

Several Persons Injured in an Accident at Kingston.
Kingston, Ont., April 22. The Street Railway Company will institute an inquiry into a collision today between a Kingston and Pembroke Railway train and a street car at Montreal street crossing. Ruth Doyle, aged 9, had her ear almost cut off. C. L. C. Lampe., commercial traveller, of New  York, is in the General Hospital for a few days, his back being badly strained. Nineteen stitches were put into his wounds. The street car was so badly damaged it will be broken up. The railway engineer says no signal was up. The street railway people say the semaphore was out of order, and the conductor says he did not see the train coming when he gave orders to go ahead. Among other passengers, J. R. Wallace, Wm. Buck and R. McGill, all of Toronto, were scratched but were able to catch the westbound train.

From the Ottawa Citizen 23 April 1910  

Kingston Street Railway company will institute an inquiry into the collision between a K. and P. railway train and a street car at Montreal street crossing.

Return to Main Page of Railway Accidents

Updated 23 April 2019