Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1922, July 31 - Crossing collision at Hull, St. Florent street, two fatalities

Ottawa Journal Friday 1 September 1922

"Double fHeaded" Engine Collides With Truck Containing Five Hull Lads, and A. Bertrand, Chauffeur.
Lucien Ouellette. Aged 12 Years, is Killed Instantly and younger Brother Dies Today.
Another victim of the fatal train and automobile collision which occurred at St. Florent street railway crossing. Hull, Thursday afternoon when one boy was killed outright and five others seriously injured, died at the Sacred Heart Hospital at six o'clock this morning. He was Hector Ouellette, aged 10. brother of Lucien Ouallatte aged I2. The latter wa instantly killed and his body terribly mangled when the train crashed into the car
Condition Dangerous
Of the four other occupants of the motor truck when the crash occurred, two, Maurice Bertrand and Alphee Bertrand, the latter the driver of the truck, were declared by the authorities at Sacred Heart Hospital this afternoon to be in a very dangerous condition, both suffering acute pain, with lapses into unconsciousness. Leopold Goulet, another victim, was stated to be resting easily with every possibility of recovery, the sixth occupant of the truck, was declared to be the one who had escaped with the least injury.

Non-railway details omitted

The accident occurred about five o'clock yesterday afternoon, when the automobile truck with its six passengers, and driven by Alphee Bertrand, was struck by C.P.R. engine number 2022 as the car was crossing the tracks at St. Florent street, two blocks south of Hull station. It was stated that the train was travelling slowly and that it whistled, but that Alphee Bertrand did not hear it until too latel
Carried 300 feet
When the truck was hit, it was carried for nearly 300 feet and most of the occupants were thrown out on both sides of the track. Thirteen-year-old Lucien Ouelette, who was sitting in the centre of the truck, was killed instantly and his body which was dragged for over 100 feet, was completely severed in seven pieces. The injured, except for young Royal Belanger, who was carried to his home nearby, were taken to Sacred Heart Hospital.
Alphee Belanger, of 57 Frontenac street, Hull, aged 29, was taking the truck out for a trial spin. He picked up his young brother and sister, Maurice, and Jeanette, also the two Ouelette boys, living nearby and Leopold Goulet and Royal Belanger, who were playing in the neighbourhood. The two Bertrand boys occupied the seat while young Belanger and Hector Ouelette were sitting with their feet dangling over the rear of the truck. Goulet was standing on the running board and Lucien Ouelette was sitting on the floor in the centre of the car.
Just as the truck was crossing the railway tracks on St. Laurent street, C.P.R. engine 2033 with engine number 504 attached, which had been hidden by trees, appeared almost on top of them. The driver of the truck, Alphee Bertrand, swerved to the right to clear the tracks. In doing so it is thought he ran off the graded crossing, and his wheels locked in the tracks. No one had time to jump before the engines, which were only travelling at 10 miles an hour, hit the truck squarely in the middle.

Non railway details omitted

According to eye witnesses of the accident, two large trees in Mr. Maurice's property deadened the sound of the bell of the approaching train. The trains whistle was also deadened, apparently misleading the driver of the truck as the the distance off of the approaching train. Mr. John Maurice, who was one of the first to assist the injured, stated that many near accidents had occurred at this crossing. Requests had been made for a level crossing but without avail. He had already pulled down a building on his property which concealed the approaching trains, but the trees still screened its approach from on-coming vehicles.
Allege Whistle Blown
According to C.P.R. officials. Engine 2022, in charge of Engineer Stan Stewart, and Engine 504 under Engineer Bottrell, were proceeding slowly. The bell was ringing and the whistle was blown at all three intersections, including St. Florent street. The accident caused the derailment of the tender of Engine Number 2022 and a wrecking crew was sent out from Ottawa.
The Brockville train was not delayed by the accident as engine number 2022 was replaced and the train detoured by way of Hurdman. Engine number 504 was held up for nearly 30 minutes before it could take out the Gatineau train.

Non railway details omitted

Eastern Ontario Review (Vankleek Hill) 8 September 1922
Also in the Morrisburg Leader 8 September 1922 Identical wording.

14 year old boy instantly killed
Four others injured when engines struck truck.
A dispatch from Ottawa, says Hector Ouelette, age 14 years, St. Jacques Street, Hull, was instantly killed, and four others were injured, two of them critically, at the St. Florent street railway level crossing in Hull, shortly after five o'clock Thursday, when a motor truck in which they were riding was struck by two C.P.R. engines traveling double headed towards Ottawa.
The engines struck the front part of the truck, turning it over and grinding the body and its wheels, so that the tender became derailed and tore up part of the right-of-way for a distance of over 50 feet before the engines came to a standstill. When the collision occurred the occupants of the truck were spilled onto the right-of-way, all clearing the engine with the exception of young  Ouelette.
At the point where the accident occurred the view is somewhat obstructed by a short row of trees, and it is believed that the driver of the motor car did not hear the engine signal for the rossing. An inquest will be held.

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Updated  27 August 2021