Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1923, June 22 - Crossing collision at Bayswater avenue, CNR., Renfrew sub., one fatality, one injury.

Ottawa Citizen 23 June 1923

R. Innis and R. B. Smith Hurt in Accident at Level Crossing.
Two men narrowly escaped death and are both suffering from injuries, one serious, following a collision between the motor car in which they were driving, and the Depot Harbour-Ottawa train, at the Canadian National Railway crossing at Bayswater avenue, which occurred at 7.30 o'clock last evening.
Robert Innis, 931 Wellington street, lies in the Protestant General hospital, Rldeau street, in a serious condition suffering from numerous injuries, and Rjchard B. Smith, 82 Spadina avenue, is confined to his home suffering from fractured ribs and a severe shaking up
The two men were on their way home, and were traveling north along Bayswater avenue. Mr. Smith owned and was driving the car, a McLaughlin touring car. The front of the engine struck the auto broadside and carried it for -about 250 feet along the rails. Innis was thrown out of the auto and suffered a fractured left arm, severe scalp wound, injuries to both legs, and internal injuries, while Smith remained in the car and was assisted out by Philip Button, fireman on the engine.
No Signal Bell.
Apparently the men in the auto did not see the approaching train until running onto the rails and then attempted to clear the track in front of it. The car was swerved to the east side of the street as if in an attempt to clear the track ahead of the train.
 Mr. Philias Roy, 9 Second avenue, was engineer on the train, and did not see the auto till it shot right in front of the train. The engine caught the car broadside and carried it for about three car lengths, in which distance the train was brought to a stop.
The railway crossing at Bayswater avenue is a level crossing, but there is no signal bell to warn of the approach of a train.

Ottawa Citizen 25 June 1923

Injury Causes Death.
Robert H. Innes, 931 Wellington street, who with Richard Smith, of Spadina avenue, was injured when the Ottawa bound Depot Harbor-Ottawa train struck an auto in which they were crossing the Bayswater avenue railway crossing on Friday evening, passed away on Saturday night at a local hospital.
The deceased was quite popular in the city. For 13 years he had been employed in the militia department. In fraternal circles he was also well known, having been senior deacon of Chaudiere Lodge, A.F. and A.M.. and was also a member of the Canadian Order of Foresters. He was 39 years of age, and was born in England, and came to Ottawa fifteen years ago. Besides his widow, he leaves two sons, Thomas and Norman, and one daughter. Irene. His mother resides in England.
Coroner W. W. Saulter, M.D., opened an inquest on Sunday afternoon. After the usual opening formalities the- inquest was adjourned until Tuesday evening, July 3.
A Masonic funeral will be held from the late residence this afternoon at two o'clock. A funeral service will he held at 1.30 o'clock.

Ottawa Citizen 4 July 1923

Mr. R. H. Innes' Death Found Accidental. Jury Recommends .Warning Signal
A venJiet of accidental death with a rider to the effect that a hedge obstructing a. clear view of the right of way should be clipped was returned by the coroner's jury, under Dr. W. W. Saulter which held an inquest at the police station last evening into the death of Robert H. Innes, 931 Wellington street, who died as the result ot injuries received when the auto he was riding in was struck by a C.N.R. train on June 22nd at the crossing at Bayswater avenue.
Evidence elicited from a number of witnesses by Crown Attorney J. A. Ritchie was somewhat conflicting on fhe point as to whether or not the locomotive had blown the customary warning blast from its whistle, as it approached the crossing. One point, however, which was well established, was that a hedge which was described as about 30 feet long and about 7 feet high, which ran along at the side of the railway in the rear ot Mrs. Alex Camnbell's property, situated on the southwest corner of the crossing, obstructed the view ot both the driver of the automobile and the engineer of the locomotive. The jury added a rider to its verdict that the hedge should be trimmed off where it encroached on the right of way, which extends for some 30 feet on each side of the tracks. The jury also advised that a warnins bell be installed at the crossing.
The Chief Witness.
The chief witness was Mr. Richard Smith, Spadina avenue, who was the driver or the car hit bv the locomotive. Deceased was riding in the front seat with Mr. Smith. Mr. Smith deposed that he was travelling around eight miles an hour. He said he had looked to the west first and then to the east, as he approached me crossing, but had seen nothing. Shouts attracted his attention just as his front wheels touched the rail and looking quicklv to the west again he saw the locomotive quite near him. Having no time to go forward or backward he attempted to turn his car to the east and was struck by tne train as he did so.
Olher witnesses heard were Mr. John Cotter, 163 Spadlna avenue; Miss Marian Prudthomme. 163 Bavswater avenue: Dr. V. H. Craig, Somerset street; Miss Mary McCuaig, 117 Rochester street; Miss May Taylor, 130 Spadina avenue; Mr. P. E. Botten, fireman of the engine; Mr. Philip Roy, enginerr of the locomotive, and Constable Herman Boehmer.
The engineer contended that he was driving his train at about 15 miles per hour and. that he had sounded the customary warning blasts, two long and two short blasts, on his whistle when about one-quarter of a mile from the crossing.

Ottawa Citizen 30 October 1923

At the Board of Railway Commissioners on Tuesday next, there will come up the matter of protectlon at Bayswater avenue, Ottawa West, where same is crossed by the Canadian National Kailway tracks.
A fatal accident occurred there on June 22nd last, in which Mr. Robert Innes lost his life and Mr. R. B. Smitn, the driver of. the car, was badly hurt. At the inquest, it transpired that there was no warning bell to notify the approach of a train. A dangerous hedge which interrupted the view of both engine driver and those travelling on the road, was ordered clipped; but this precaution would not seem to be sufficient. The. coroner's verdict contained a rider advising that a warning bell be placed at the crossing.
Mr. H. K. Carruthers. secretary of the Ottawa Board of Trade, considers that the only satisfactory safeguard would be a wig-wag system such as has recently been installed on the new Driveway between tne Richmond road and the Ottawa river, and also on the continuation of this Driveway between the Richmond road and Carling avenue.

Ottawa Citizen 19 March 1924

Motor Owner loses case against C.N.R.
Jury Finds Company Had Not Been Negligent in Accident to R. B. Smith's Car.
Holding that the Canadian National Railway had not been negligent in the operation of it train, which on July 22nd last crashed into a motor car on the level crowing at Bayswater avenue, a Carleton county jury at one o'clock today, dismissed the action which had been brought by Mr. Richard B. Smith, owner of the motor car. against the C.N. R.. for $5,000 damages.
On behalf of Mr. Smith it was claimed that a hedgee situated on fthe company' right of way had obscured a view of the track, and the driver of the car had not heard the bell of the engine ringing.
For me C.N.R., it was testified that the members of the engine crew had not seen the motor car until it appeared on the track a few feet ahead of the train. It was also contended that both the bell and tha whistle of the engine had been sounded before the crossing was reached.

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Updated 14 October 2020