Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1914, January 22 - Derailment at Meath, Canadian Pacific, Chalk River subdivision, 1 killed, 11 injured.

Train #19, engine 2609 and six cars derailed as a result of a broken rail at Meath, about mileage 96 (from Broad Street), some of the cars plunging down the embankment on the north side of the track.  Sleepers "Bolton" and "Guernsey", first class  1597, second class 1991, baggage 4159 and mail car 3492.  The engine remained on the track while the rest of the train derailed. The cars were all in good condition.

Ottawa Journal 22 January 1914

One Killed and Sixteen Injured in Train Wreck near Pembroke
Soo express derailed near Meath station at 4 O'clock this morning
Thos. Carter, CPR conductor, Rochester Street, only Ottawan injured - spread rails believed to have been cause of accident.
Pembroke January 22 - One woman was killed and six passengers injured in a wreck on the CPR at Meath station, about 10 miles west of Pembroke, at about 4:30 this morning.
The wrecked train was number 19, the Soo, which left Ottawa at 2:10 this morning. All went well until reaching just outside Meath station when, through some unknown cause, the cars left the tracks, some turning turtle. The engine, strange to say did not leave the rails. It is stated that several of the cars rolled down the embankment.
Victim had just boarded train.
There were quite a number of passengers aboard the train, mostly bound for Pembroke. The unfortunate woman, accompanied by her husband and baby had only been on the train about 10 minutes, having boarded at Cobden, and was on her way to Sudbury.
As Mr. Sammon felt the car falling he instinctively reached for his wife and child. He succeeded in grasping the latter, but with lightning like rapidity the woman was hurled through the air and caught beneath the falling coaches. For some moments Mr. Sammon was dazed but when he recovered himself he was standing on the embankment with his child in his arms. Apart from a severe shaking both were uninjured. It was only about 10 minutes before he had the painful experience of gazing upon the lifeless body of his wife, which was badly mangled.
Was Spread Rail the Cause
Among those who was seriously injured was a little foreign child whose life is despaired of. It is thought that all the people who were traveling on the train are accounted for.
The scene of the accident is in a rock cut, on a high grade just west of Meath station, and while no official information is forthcoming, it is said that the cause is due to a spreading rail. Some state that it was caused by a defect in one of the cars.
News of the disaster was immediately flashed to Pembroke, a special train was made up and medical aid was rushed to the scene. The injured would temporarily attended to, placed on the special train and sent to the cottage and General Hospital's at Pembroke.
Ottawa conductor is injured.
The train conductor, Thomas Carter of 76 Rochester Street, Ottawa, is among the injured.
The engineer and fireman, George Garmeau and T.McIlquham, respectively were uninjured. The rest of the train crew unhurt were R.E. Kirans, H. Waddell, E Smith and F.A. Pownell, 80 Preston Street Ottawa.
Conductor shows rare pluck.
Mr. T. F. Carter, of 76 Rochester Street, the conductor on the wrecked train is a man of 50 years of age, 30 of which have been spent in the service of the CPR. He began work on the road in the Carleton Place yards, and worked up to his present position.
Though injured in the wreck to the extent of two broken ribs and a dislocated shoulder, Mr. Carter rode up from the scene of the disaster to Pembroke and wired in a report of the accident, before being taken to the hospital. This morning his wife and daughter got into communication with him by telephone, and tomorrow they will go up to join him in Pembroke.
During his 30 years of railroading Mr. Carter has been in only one wreck previous to this, which occurred on the Gatineau division of the CPR about 2 years ago.
Fireman is an Ottawan
The fireman on the wrecked train was Mr. J.G. McIlquham who resides at 123 Spence Street. He is a married man with a family consisting of two small children, and his wife had not heard the news of the accident before a Journal reporter called to see her this morning.
Mr McIlquham has been connected with the CPR for about 8 years and this is the first passenger wreck he has ever been in he is a man of thirty-two years of age.

Rideau Record  ? January 1914
Wreck Near Pembroke
C.P.R. Winnipeg Express Jumps the Rails - One Passenger Killed

The C.P.R. westbound Winnipeg express was wrecked near Meath this morning about five o’clock. Meath is a station about 14 miles from Pembroke and about a quarter of a mile west of there the fast rushing train met with disaster. A broken rail is supposed to have been the cause. The first and second-class cars were thrown on their sides and one Pullman partly tipped over. One passenger Mrs. Salmon was killed and nine others were more or less seriously injured. Mrs. Salmon had been visiting Cobden and had been on the train only a few minutes when the smash-up happened. She was thrown out of the car through a window and the car fell on her. Her husband who was sitting near her was thrown out through another window and escaped injury. Among the injured is conductor Thos. Carter, formerly of Smiths Falls but he is not seriously hurt. It seems almost miraculous that such a wreck could occur with such a small death list and so few injured. Doctors were hurried from Pembroke by special train and by nine o’clock all the injured and al the passengers were being carried there. The auxiliary went up from Smiths Falls to clear the track.

Renfrew Mercury 2? January 1914
Accident on C.P.R. Ten Miles East of Pembroke
A dispatch from Pembroke says: The Soo train no.19 which left Montreal at 10:30 Wednesday night was wrecked by the spreading of a rail at Meath, ten miles east of Pembroke, early Thursday Morning. One passenger was killed and about fifteen injured, seven of whom have been removed to Pembroke Hospital. The dead passenger is Mrs. J.J. Sammon of Sudbury, who with her husband and two-year-old-child, had been visiting at Os??ula, and boarded the train a few stations where the wreck occurred. Her husband and child escaped.

Pembroke Standard 23 January 1914
Soo train wrecked near Meath
One killed and several injured in bad accident - broken rail or faulty wheel is supposed to be the cause.
List of Killed and Injured.
For the third time in the space of a few months the C.P.R. line between Pembroke and Ottawa has been the scene of a railway disaster and as far as can be ascertained the cause appears to be the same as on previous occasions, a fault in the permanent way. Whether this be the case or not, yesterday's wreck, while not resulting in a long death roll such as it might easily have done, presented a scene of desolation and disaster which was intensified by the cold and gloom of a winter morning.  Whether the rails were to blame or, as has been suggested, a flange on one of the cars was broken, is not yet known, but from information received from one of the passengers, it appears that just before the train turned over it appeared to be going at an excessive rate of speed. The engine fortunately remained on the tracks and it is probable that the deep snow which lined the embankment broke the force when the first and second class passenger cars took their dive down the steep incline.  Word was quickly sent to the nearest points  for assistance and several of Pembroke's medical men answered the call.  Fortunately the demands on their services were lighter than at first seemed probable and those who suffered from cuts and bruises were quickly attended to.  Some idea of the difficulties surrounding their work may be gathered from the fact that the baby belonging to Mr. Pandeneau was found with its clothes frozen hard as it had become saturated with blood from a deep gash in its father's head and had also been deluged with water from one of the tanks.  The only fatality occurred to Mrs. James Sammon who boarded the train at Cobden and had barely settled down to her home in Sudbury when the wreck occurred.  Her husband who accompanied her feeling the train lurch reached forward to steady her but too late when she was thrown through the window as the car turned over down the embankment.  With wonderful presence of mind he secured the child which would undoubtedly have been killed had he not shielded it from the shock.  Mr. Sammon was tightly wedged under the car and it was some little time before he could be released.  The baby was near him crying but so far as could be seen uninjured.  Mrs. Sammon was beyond human aid  and must have been instantly killed by the weight of the car which had dragged her for some distance.
Yesterday morning the town presented a strange aspect, men with bandaged heads passing to and from the hospitals where they had gone to have their wounds attended to.  The Copeland House was a scene of great activity and Mr. T.A. Sammon and his large staff were kept busy with rendering what assistance they could to the sufferers and getting the best information procurable as to train arrangements for those who were anxious to resume their journeys.  Mr. James Sammon and his little child were the centre of observation and exprssions of deepest sympathy for them were general.  Enquiries at the General Hospital this morning reveal that Mrs. Lepage and Conductor Thomas Carter are both seriously injured but rested fairly well during the night. 
Expressions of gratitude for the many acts of kindness received were general from all who were detained by the disaster and the solicitude displayed by the medical men, the Hospitals and Mr. T.A. Sammon at the Copeland House were sincerely appreciated.
At the inquest held by Dr. G.E. Josephs evidence was taken from Mr. James Sammon, husband of the deceased lady, the engineer, fireman and brakesmen of the wrecked train, and the roadmaster.  Mr. Sammon's evidence was on the lines of statements already published and the train officials claimed that the speed was not more than thirty miles an hour.  The road was examined the previous afternoon.  The jury returned a verdict of accidental death from causes unknown.

Ottawa Journal Friday 23 January 1914

CONDUCTOR T. F. CARTER, of 76 Rochester street, who sustained a broken shoulder and two fractured ribs in the derailment of the Soo Express early yesterday morning. Despite his injuries, Conductorr Carter pluckily rode up to Pembroke immediately after the accident and wired in a report to headquarters. He has been railroading for thirty years and this makes but the second accident he has been in

Tragedy Near Pembroke Yesterday to be Probed.
Pembroke Jan. 23. (Special)  A Jury waas empannelled yesterday to hold an inquest over the body of Mrs. J. J. Sammon,. the victim of the Meath wreck.
Dr. Geo. K. Josephs is coroner and Messrs. Jas. Anderson, C. Panke, Gus Schroeder, F.W. Chambers, W. Powers, A.H. Box, A.E Cockburn and Geo. Andrews are the jurymen. The Jury met at 2 p.m. in the town hall und viewed the body; but owing to the inability of several of the witnesses to attend it was postponed until today.
Dr.Hurtubise, of Sudbury, who was on the train at the time of the accident, did splendid work for the wounded passengers at the time of the accident.

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Updated 13 August 2018