|These pictures were obtained by Bill Sanderson.|
Ottawa Journal 26 February 1925
TWO ARE INJURED WHEN FAST TRAIN STRIKES FREIGHT
Engineer Jumps and Is Hurt - Open Switch Causes Express to Run Into Siding - No Ottawa Players Hurt in Smash.
Perth Feb 26. - C.P.R. Chicago-Montreal fast passenger train, to which was attached an Ottawa coach on which the members of the Ottawa National Hockey League team were passengers, was badly wrecked at Glentay, three miles west of Perth, at two o'cock this afternoon. The engineer was badly injured, and one other man sustained minor injuries.
A relief train has been rushed to the scene of the wreck from Smiths Falls, and on it are doctors and nurses. Perth doctors have also been asked to hold themselves in readiness.
Engineer Injured In Jumping
The engineer of the passenger train was injured when he jumped from the cab just before the impact with the freight engine. The fireman remained in the cab and was not injured.
The freight train had pulled onto a siding to allow the fast passenger train the right of way and an open switch at the west end of the siding is believed to have caused the collision. The big engines struck head-on and are now a mass of wreckage. The crew ot the freight engine were not on the train and thus escaped possible serious injury.
Time of arrival unknown.
It is not known at what time the members ot the team and other Ottawa passengers will reach Ottawa, as at 3.30 this afternoon the track had not been cleared and passsngers ware stilll waiting around the wrecked train. The two injured men had not yet been removed and the engineer was reported in a serious condition.
All members of the Ottawa Hockey team, who were returning to the city after last nlght's game in Hamilton, escaped without injury. Manager Dave Gill informed The Journal over long distance telephone from Glentay. As far as he knew the engineer and one other member of the crew were the only casualties.
The place where the wreck occurred is some distance from the station, and Mr. Gill had to walk about half a mile to get in communication with Ottawa. The Journal notified relatives of players of their safety.
Ottawa Citizen 27 February 1925
Members of Capitals NHL Club Give Graphic Accounts of Glen Tay Railway Smash
President Frank Ahearn May Have Rib Fractured. Coach Peter Green, Alex. Connell, Alex. Smith and Frank Nighbor Also Suffer Minor Injuries.
FOUR RAILWAYMEN IN PERTH HOSPITAL
C.P.R. Passenger Train Runs Into Stationary Freight. Engineer Walter Norris, of Trenton, in Critical Condition'
PERTH. Feb. 27. Four men lie in hospital here, two of them seriously injured, following a head-on collision Thursday afternoon between C.P.R. Chicago-Montreal train No. 20 and a stationary freight, in front of Glen Tay station, three miles west of here. No one was killed. The Ottawa Hockey Club were among the passengers and several of them, as well as other passengers, received minor in juries.
The injured in hospital here are:
Waller Norris, Trenton. Out., engineer on passenger train, in critical condition, severely cut about the face and head, and also suffering from a broken ankle, while it is also feared that his skull may be fractured.
David Bourne, Toronto, engineer on freight train, right leg fractured near the ankle.
George Anderson. Toronto, dining car steward, severe bruises.
Thomas Hanson. Montreal, baggageman on passenger train, injuries to left hip.
REPORT FROM C.P.R.MONTREAL, Feb. 26 . No lives were lost and it is expected that the four members of the train crews who were injured when the Chicago to Montreal passenger train Number 20 crashed into freight train Number 909 in front of Glen Tay station near Perth, Ont., this afternoon, will recover, according to a report from the Canadian Pacific Railway headquarters here tonight.
The seriously injured men are Engineer Norris and Engineer Bourne, both of whom are in Perth Hospital. Other members of the train crews suffered slight injuries, while several passengers also sustained bruises, none of which, according to the C.P.R. report, are believed serious.
Train Number 20 arrived in Montreal shortly before 8 o'clock: this evening and the local passengers were all distributed to their homes.
A number of passengers who were proceeding to St. John, N.B., to embark for Europe were able to catch the boat train at Montreal West and continued on their way.
ARRIVE IN OTTAWA.Thankful they had escaped with their lives, and feeling somewhat shaken up by their harrowing experience, the member of the Ottawa hockey team and other Ottawa residents passengers on the Montreal-Chicago C. P. R. train which crashed headlong into a freight train at Glen Tay station, three miles west of Perth on the Havelock division, yesterday afternoon, arrived at the Union Station last night at 7.30.
They were unanimous in the opinion that they had a marvelous escape from serious injury, in view of the terrific impact with which the passenger train, travelling at between 25 and 30 miles an hour, hit the stationary freight train. The members of the hockey team, with the exception of Alex Smith, who was scalded, and Alex Connell, who sustained a badly wrenched shoulder. escaped with a bad shaking up, while Petie Green was nearly choked. Frank Nighbor last night was suffering with his back, and Mr. Frank Ahearn's doctor stated that Mr. Ahearn may have sustained a fractured rib.
No Serious Injury."Every member of the team, ourselves included, suffered in various degrees as a result of the wreck," said Mr. Dave Gill, manager of the Ottawa Hockey Club, as he stepped from the train at the Central Station last night at 7.30. "Fortunately not one of the boys suffered any serious injury, with the possible exception of Petie Green, who nearly choked. He, with the rest of the team, were at the tables in the dining car when the crash came. The first intimation they had that anything was wrong was when there was a terrific impact and dishes, plates, water bottles and cutlery went flying in every direction, while the members of the team, who were seated on each side of some of the tables, were almost bent double by the shock: Fortunately not one of them was seriously hurt, and they will be on deck for the big Canadien game on Saturday night, unless there are complications."
Thrown Heavily.Mr. Dave Gill, together with Mr. Frank Ahearn, president of the Ottawa Hockey Club, were in their private car when the crash came, and were thrown heavily, suffering some bruises and a bad shaking up.
After picking themselves up they made their way in to the dining car to see if any of the members of the team were hurt, and found that when the wreck, occurred Petie Green, the coach, was engaged in masticating a mouthful of food, and the violence of the shock forced it down his throat, and he was in danger of choking until other members of the team went to his aid.
Engines Locked Together.After seeing that the team had not suffered serious injury, Mr. Gill went forward to see what had occurred, and found that the engine of the passenger train had piled headlong into that of the freight, and the two iron monsters were locked together, their front being a mass of twisted iron and steel. He found the engineer of the passenger train had been seriously injured by an iron bolt which had cut his head open. The steward on the dining car was thrown against one of the tables so heavily that he suffered some fractured rib.
At [sic] Open Switch."From what I could learn, the accident was due to a swltch which had been left open just at the end of the atation at Glen Tay." said Mr GillI. "It seems that the freight had just pulled in a few minute before we hove in sight, and had orders to wait there for us to pass. The engineer and fireman of the freight had left their engine and gone to the station agent to ask whether their orders had been changed, as they noticed the switch was open. Upon learning that there had been no change in the orders and that the passenger train was on time and due at anv time, the two railwaymen realized what was about to happen and rushed down towards the switch with the intention of locking it, when the passenger train, travlling [sic} at about thirty miles an hour, appeared, and. taking the open switch, piled headlong into the freight. wrecking both engines and splintering one of the freight cars next to the engine.
Frank Ahearn Hurt.While he did not know it at the time, Mr. Frank Ahearn has discovered that he may have- suffered a fractured rib, when he was thrown heavily against the side of his private car. Mr. Ahearn complained ot feeling sore on his left side on the journey into Ottawa, and on arriving at his home, the pain having grown worse, he called in a doctor, who. after examining him. stated that he had in all probability suffered a fractured rib.
Frank Nighbor is also suffering from a pain in the small of his back, caused when he was doubled over one of the dining car tables, and then thrown heavily back against the side of the car.
When Crash Came."It was some smash," said King Clancy. "I should judge we were travelling between twenty-five and thirtv miles an hour when the crash came. We were all seated at the tables in the dining car and were doubled up by the shock of the impact. For a few minutes I was breathless, and the other members of the team were in a similar condition. The windows of the diner were splintered and glass flew in all directions together with the dishes, water bottles, etc. on the table. We had a regular 'dinner shower.' Petie Green had a mouthful of food he was disposing of when the crash came and he nearly choked. He was getting black in the face when George Boucher, who first noticed his predicament, went to his assistance, removed his collar and relieved him of the food congestion."
Alex. Connell and Alex Smith were the only two who were hurt to any extent. Alex. Connell. after being doubled up by the table at which he was sitting, wae thrown from his seat against the side of the car and wrenched his shoulder badly. Alex. Smith received the contents of the teapot on his leg. which was badly scalded. After we had recovered from the shock and found we were whole, but a bit wobbly, we went up front and had a look at the debris. The two engines were jammed one into the other so tightly that you could not get a jackknife between them. The cab of the freight engine had been pushed back on top of the tender, and the first baggage car had pilled rolls of paper and other freight all over the tracks, while the car itself was a bad mess. I am glad I got out of it as easily as I did and my feelings are shared by the other members of the team."
Passenger' Story.Mr. Gilbert Ostler, father of Mrs. R. W. Dawson, 404 Riverdale avenue, who was coming from his home at Plevna, Ontario, to visit his daughter, was on the Chicago-Montreal express when the crash took place three miles west of Perth. He was seated in the smoker and the suddenness with which the impact was felt through the train, after the two engines telescoped, threw him bodily across the smoking room and into another seat. Fortunately he did not receive any injury,
After regaining his feet, Mr. Ostler entered the passenger coach to find his wife, and saw many person who had been thrown from their seats to the floor of the cars and about the cars, picking themselves up and examining themselves for injuries. In one of the coaches he said a nun had been cut over the eye. The train was heavily laden with passengers.
The speed of the passenger train at the time of the accident, Ostler estimated, was about 40 miles per hour. He attributed the cause of the smash to a switch being left open, which, caused the passenger train to swerve from the main line and crash into the stationary freight train.
Some idea ot the force of the impact when the two locomotives telescoped can be gained from the fact that the first freight ear nearest the engine of the freight train, which was loaded with rolls of newsprint paper, was smashed open and the big rolls, which weighed half a ton or more each, were strewn about the railway line.
The scene in the dining car. which was the last coach on the passenger train, Mr. Ostler said was a wild one, as broken glass and china were thrown about, and it is stated that every person in the diner received a cut or cuts. At the time of the smash there were about half a dozen passengers in the dining car. Practically all of the glass in the diner. Mr. Ostler said, was broken.
Doctors from Perth.Following the collision, Mr. Ostler stated that a call for doctors and nurses was first sent to Smiths Fails, but before these arrived on the wrecking train doctors and nurses from Perth, three miles away. arrivediIn motor car and attended to the injured and sent back those most seriously hurt to the hospital at Perth.
Also reported in the Ottawa Journal 27 February 1925
Toronto Star 27 February 1925
Sixteen are injured in head-on collision
One man thought seriously hurt - others receive but bruises
Perth Ont. Feb 26 Sixteen people were slightly injured, one seriously, when a C.P.R train crashed head-on into a waiting freight train at Glen Bay (sic) three miles from here this afternoon. Albert Labelle of Montreal, who is not expected to recover, is in hospital there.
An open switch threw the passenger train into a siding where the freight was standing at the station at Glen Bay (sic). The engine crew, Walter Norris and A. Bourne, Toronto leaped to safety when they saw the crash coming and escaped with bruises. Norris is the most seriously injured of the two and is in hospital here.
One of the Toronto people who were slightly bruised was Mrs. J.W. Hobday of the Bernardo Homes, 538 Jarvis street, Toronto. The passengers included the Ottawa professional hockey team and a number of the players received bruises. They are Frank Ahearn, manager; G. Boucher, E. Campbell, P. Green, Alex Smith and Alex Connell. Others who received minor injuries were: W.O. Sobel, Philadelphia; W.O.L. Hazel, Montreal; Mrs B.G. Cullen, Florence, Italy; Mrs. T.G. Potter, Montreal; Sister St. Stephen, Montreal; S.S. Etienne, Montreal; Miss H. Page, Ottawa and Miss A. Dodds, Hamilton.
The train was the fast Canadian Pacific passenger No. 20 ("The Canadian") bound from Chicago to Montreal. It is due in Montreal about seven o'clock to-night.
Ottawa Journal 2 March 1925
INQUIRY TO FOLLOW WRECK AT GLEN TAY
David Bourne, C. P, R. Engineer, Dies of Injuries
As a result of the death of Mr. David Bourne, one of the engineers on the Chicago - Montreal C. P. R. express wrecked at Glen Tay station, 3 miles west of Perth, on Thursday afternoon, there will be an inquest and the whole circumstances of the wreck will be the subject of a public investigation. Engineer Bourne died in the Perth Memorial Hospital Saturday afternoon.
A jury was empaneled to view the remains Saturday night and the inquest will be held in Perth on Tuesday afternoon. Engineer Bourne was not in charge of the train at the time of the wreck but was on the engine for instruction purposes, he being a western Ontario engineer who was to be transferred to the Toronto - Montreal run. In a report issued the night of the wreck C. P. R. headquarters at Montreal was credited with having stated that the accident was the result of the engineer having failed to take note of signals set against him and as a result the passenger train plunged headlong into the standing freight train.
The body of engineer Bourne was taken to Toronto and the funeral will be from his home there. His wife and one of his two young sons were at his bedside when death came. He was 45 years old and was the son of Mr. and Mrs. David Bourne, of New Boyle, Ontario. Little hope had been held out for his recovery as he suffered from a fractured skull and leg, and from internal injuries.
The Ottawa hockey team were passengers on the wrecked train and suffered minor injuries in the collision. President Frank Ahearn had one rib fractured.
Ottawa Citizen Monday 2 March 1925
ENGINEER SUCCUMBS TO WRECK INJURIES
David Bourne Victim of Collision on C.P.R. at Glen Tay Last Thursday.
PERTH, Mar. 1. Mr. David Bourne, engineer on the Chicago-Montreal train No. 20. which was wrecked at Glen Tay Thursday afternoon, died In the Perth Memorial hospital Saturday afternoon. Little hope was held out by the physicians for his recovery since Friday as the unfortunate man's skull was fractured, and he suffered other injuries.
The late Mr. Bourne was a son of the late Mr. and Mrs. David Bourne at New Boyle, forty-five years ago, and leaves his wife and two sons, aged twelve and eighteen years. Mr. Bourne's wife and one son were at the bedside when he died. A jury was empanelled to view the remains last night, and an inquest will be held here on Tuesday afternoon. The body was taken on the midnight express to the late residence in Toronto, where interment will take place. Funeral arrangements are not yet completed.
Ottawa Citizen 4 March 1925
PERTH. Ont., March 3 Owing to the absence ot several witnesses, the. inquest here today on the death of David Bourne, engineer of the passenger train that was in the wreck at Glen Tay on February 26th, was postponed until March 10th, at two p.m., after a number of witnesses had been examined.
Winchester Press 5 March 1925
Miss Hazel Wallace was on the train coming from Toronto on Thursday afternoon last that came to the relief of the passengers on the wrecked Toronto Express at Glen Tay station where the two lines from Toronto meet. She saw the wrdck [sic] and some of the injured passengers.
Ottawa Citizen 1 April 1925
URGE PERMANENT SWITCHMAN FOR GLEN TAY STATION
Coroner's Jury Finally Brings In Verdict on Fatal Train Collision on Feb. 26.
PERTH. Ont., March 31. The coroner's jury sitting on the inquest at Perth into the death of the engineer, David Bourne, who was seriously injured at Glen Tay on Feb. 28th. was completed this afternoon. The inquest had been postponed on two former occasions, as some of the witnesses had not fully recovered from injuries received in the smash-up. Only one witness, Mr. Lynn Ferguson, of Smiths Falls, was heard today, after which the jury retired and afterward brought in the following verdict: "We find that David Bourne, who died on Feb. 28th, 1925, in the War Memorial Hospital at Perth, Ontario, came to his death from injuries received from the Canadian Pacific Railway train No. 20, wrecked at Glen Tay station on Thursday in the afternoon of Feb. 26th, 1925. We further find, from the evidence, that said wreck was caused by reason of the failure of the telegraph operator on duty at that time at Gien Tay to close or properly to adjust the switch for the through passage of train No 20, which was not billed for stop at said station of Glen Tay. and by the engineer in charge of passenger train No. 20 disregaraing or mistaking the sign indicated by what is known as the distant signal, signifying caution, and his failure by reason of such mistake to bring his train to a stop, as called for by the position of the home signal at the time his train was approaching same.
"We would recommend that the attention of the board of railways for Canada be directed to this traffic point to ascertain if in the opinion of their engineers the volume of intersecting traffic would not warrant the appointment of a permanent iswitchman, who would have no other conflicting duties to attend to." Signed by J. J. Hands, foreman, and six other members of the jury.
The jurors were; A. W. Gamble, J.J. Hands, W. Howie, J.J. Smith, T. Wright, E. White, J. Bedard and T. A, Poole. Coroner McCallum, of Smlths Falls, conducted the inques.[sic]
Dr. Dwyre deposed that Engineer Bourne met his death as the result of a fractured skull sustained in the Glen Tay wreck,
Notified Station Agent.
Engineer Duncan of the freight train said he had noticed the switch was wrong after his train had entered the siding, and, despatching his fireman to close it, had gone to tell the station agent. The fireman was just a few yards from the switch when the train crossed over. Fireman Calhoun said he had 200 yards to go before reaching the switch. The emergency brakes were on the express when it passed him. C. Powers, master mechanic, said the train was running 52 miles an hour when it reached the crossover switch.
Arthur Snyder, station agent at Glen Tay, said Engineer Duncan had drawn his attention to the switch, and he even then had not expected an accident as the board was dead against the express. He had known an hour before the switch was not set, but had been busy and forgot all about. He was allowed $1.67 per month. for tending, the switches.
Engineer Norris said that when he got near the home signal smoke had obscured his vision. He said he was under the impression the far away signal was going up to clear when he passed it.
Ottawa Citizen 29 April 1925
TWO EMPLOYES OF C.N.R.[sic] FACE CHARGES
PERTH, Ont.., April 28. Criminal charges have been brought by the crown against Mr. Arthur G. binder and Mr. Walter Norris in connection with the recent death in Perth of C.P.R. engineer David Bourne, whose death was caused from the injuries received when he jumped from a C.P.R. passenger train engine before it collided with a freight engine at Glen Tay on Thursday, February 26th last.
Mr. Snider was C.P.R. agent and operator at Glen Tay and Mr. Norris was the engineer in charge of the passenger train engine on the day of the incident. Bourne was a second engineer along with Norris.
The charge against Mr. Snider is that on the 26th day of February at the township of Bathurst he did cause grievous bodily injury to David Bourne by negligently omitting to perform his duty as the official in charge of a switch on the main line of the C.P.R. at Glen Tay contrary to section 284 of the Criminal Code.
Are Allowed Bail.The charge against Mr. Norris is similar to the one above, with the exception of the word, "switch" which reads "engine".
The defendants appeared before Lanark county Magistrate Dr. J. T. Kirkland. of Almonte, in Perth, this afternoon and were remanded on bail until Tuesday, May 5th, for the preliminary inquiry to be held here.
Mr. Snider was bailed in himself for $1,000. and Mr. H.H.Neilson. of Perth, surety for $1,000, while Mr. Norris was bailed in himself for $1,000 and surety by Mr. Harold Frances, of Smiths Falls, for $1,000.
Verdict at Inquest.The jury at the final inquest held in Perth on Tuesday, March 31st, brought in a verdict in part as follows; "We find from the evidence that said wreck was caused by reason of failure of the operator on duty at that time at Glen Tay to close or properly adjust the switch for the through passage of train No. 20 which was not billed to stop at said station of Glen Tay, and by the engineer of passenger train No. 20 disregarding or mistaking the sign as indicated by what is known as the distant signal signifying caution, and his failure by reason of such mistake to bring his train to a stop as called for by the position of the home signal at the time his train was approaching the same."
Ottawa Citizen 6 May 1925
RAILWAYMEN TO BE TRIED FOR NEGLIGENCE
PERTH, Out.. May 5. This afternoon the preliminary trial was held, before the Lanark county magistrate. Dr. J. T. Kirkland, of Almonte, of Arthur G. Snider, C.P.R.. station agent at Glen Tay. and Walter Norrris. C.P.R. engineer, ot Trenton, against whom criminal charges were brought by the Crown in connection with the death of C.P.R. engineer David Bourne, of Toronto, who succumbed in Perth to injuries received when he jumped from the engine of passenger train No. 20. prior to a collision with a freight train standing at Glen Tay station on the 26th day of February last. Both were charged with negligently omitting to perform their duties on the day the passenger train travelled through a switch and collided with a freight train, and after the evidence was adduced today, both were committed to appear before Judge J. H. Scott In Lanark county court here next month. The accused are at liberty on bail
Ottawa Citizen 10 June 1925
THROWS OUT BILL AGAINST C.P. AGENT
Engineer Noreys [sic] Tried Before Judge Scott Following Glen Tay Accident.
PERTH, Ont., June 9. The case arising out of the wreck at Glen Tay on February 26, in which Engineer David Bourne, of Toronto, lost his life as a result of jumping from the engine of No. 20 train on the C.P.R. eastbound, and for which engineer Walter Noreys of Trenton and Arthur Snyder of Glen Tay were held, came up for trial here today before His Honor Judge J. O. Scott. The grand jury, after three hours deliberation, returned a finding of no bill against Snyder, and Mr. Donohue of Toronto notified His Honor that his client Noreys elected to be tried by the judge without a jury.
The case of Noreys was proceeded with this evening before His Honor Judge Scott. Crown Prosecutor McKim, of Smiths Falls, acted for the Crown, and Mr. Donohue, assisted by Mr. Campbell, of Winnipeg, acted for Noreys. The first witness called was Mr. C. H. Towle, assistant superintendent for the C.P.R., with jurisdiction over the section in which Glen Tay, the scene of the accident, is located.
At 40 Miles an Hour.He stated that the first indication he had while riding in the baggage car of No. 20 that anything was wrong, was when they reached the cross over switch, when he was thrown from the rear to the front portion of the car. It was his opinion that there was no perceptible reduction in speed between the distant and home signal, and that when they reached the latter the train was going about 40 miles per hour. He also stated that the engineer was supposed to stop 200 feet from home signal when distant signal was at caution. Cross-examined by Mr. Donohue he stated that engine of No. 20 was in pretty good condition after the collision.
Foreman [sic] Len Ferguson, of Smiths Falls, fireman on train No. 20, who is still suffering as a result of the colllsion, was next called and he testified that he was firing when they passed the distant signal and when near home signal, he heard Noreys say something about the home board and he opened his window to look finding the board against the train upon which he showed the information to Noreys. Shortly after this, Bourne and Noreys both jumped and he went after them. He said the brakes were set at emergency, when he jumped, but did not know how long they had been set. He also stated that he thought the train would stop before hitting No. 19 [sic], but jumped as others had done on the spur of the moment.
Arthur Colquhan, of Smiths Falls, fireman of No. 909, said he had tried to fix the switch, but got there a second too late. Mr. Gordon Kirby, of Toronto, signal engineer of the C.P.R., gave evidence as to working and testing of signals. He showed that there would be about 1,333 feet after the signal had reached caution before the train No. 20 would come to distant board, the home board being set at stop at the same time. The signal would go to clear 900 feet hefore reaching distant signal. Mr. Donohue questioned him as to what was meant by a train being under control and brought out the fact that the engineer would be the sole judge of that.
In Perfect Order.J. C. Carr, of Perth signal maintenance man, stated that all signals were in perfect order two hours after the accident.
The defendant, Walter Noreys. was next called and stated he had been with the C.P.R. 25 years and had been an engineer for 14 years. Bourne had written instructions to go on No. 20 with him that day to learn the run and got in the engine at Trenton with Noreys. He stated that he mentioned to Bourne that the distant signal at Glen Tay was the slowest working one he knew of on the C.P.R. system. When entering circuit, he was going about 60 miles per hour, but when he saw the distant signal moving upward, he put on the service brakes which reduced the speed to about 40 miles by the time the home board had been reached. The home board was obscured owing to smoke from engine due to fresh fire. When Ferguson told him condition of home board, he put on emergency which took about four seconds before becoming fully effective.
If He Hadn't Jumped.He stated that Bourne shouted to him to jump, which he did and now-wished he had stayed on the engine, as it was so little damaged that it was altogether likely he would not have been injured, and Bourne would have in all probability been alive as well. He maintained that in his opinion the very high wind made the signal work slower than usual on February 26, and when he looked up after applying service brakes, the distant signal looked to him as if it had passed caution and was going to clear, but as it was almost overhead at the time, he could not be sure.
Ottawa Citizen 11 June 1925
JUDGMENT FREEING ENGINEER NOREYS [sic]
Judge Scott's Review of Circumstances Leading Up to the Glen Tay Wreck.
PERTH, Ont., June 11. The following is a complete copy of the judgment handed down today by His Honor J. H. Scott In exonerating Walter Noreys, of Trenton, who was held on a charge of criminal negligence in connection with the Glen Tay wreck on the C.P.R.. February 26th:
"The position of a railway engineer in charge of a passenger train, and especially of a fast or through train, carries with it such tremendous possibilities for injury to human life that his duties must necessarily be clearly and exhaustively defined and the strictest compliance is necessarily insisted upon. We can all agree that no competent official charged with the care of a trainload of human freight would deliberately ignore any duty required to preserve its safety. These duties are laid down by their employers and assented to and in the ordinary course a breach which results in disaster has only one result so far as the defaulting official is concerned. To deal justly in such a case requires the most careful consideration of every fact incident to the occurrence. In this case there are several features which, in my opinion, take the situation out of the ordinary course.
"The accused is a competent engineer, thoroughly familiar with the rules. On this particular occasion he is assigned to this run, his first day trip thereon during a year's interval, for the special purpose of instructing a new engineer in the topography and special features of the line. This special service must necessarily detract from that fixity of mind which is so obviously required to discharge his responsibility. The occupancy of the cab by a third party interferes with a steady co-operation between his assistant and himself. In the special duty imposed upon him by his employers some interference with his ordinary duty was inevitable. The evidence does not show, however, that his mind was altogether diverted from his observation of the signals or his obedience to them, but on the contrary, it does appear that he made reasonable efforts to comply with them, utilizing the facilities which were available to some extent, at any rate. It is evident that the signals were misinterpreted. The open switch, for which he was not responsible, was the primary cause of the disaster. But the fact that the switch was open rendered close scrutiny of the signals by the accused as vitally necessary to avert what eventually happened. The collision in this case was the result of a joint default, but had strict duty been observed by either official the situation would have been saved.
Three Factors Enter.
"Three ingredients must concur in order to bring the case within the statute. viz.:
"1. The establishment of a duty;
"2. The negligent performance or actual omission there of, and
"3. A resulting injury as a direct consequence to some person."
"In this case the duties are not questioned; as to their omission or negligent performance I have already referred. Whether the third element is so identified with the others or not is arguable. The suggestion that Bourne might have been unhurt had he remained in the cab savors somewhat of speculation, but it is not without real source. Had he so remained and been injured there is no question that the injury would have been directly attributable to the engineer's neglect, if such had been proved.
"Without elaborating in detail all the incidents of the trip in question, I have given very careful consideration to the whole evidence and I have come to the conclusion that I ought not to saddle the accused with the stigma of a criminal offender within the meaning of the. section of the code in question. His attitude in the box impressed me very favorably. His statement was frank and devoid of concealment. He has had an enviahle. record for fidelity and good conduct and on the deplorable occasion in question he was beset by a combination of circumstances which precipitated the result, which I do not think should be laid criminally at his door. My duty therefore is to discharge him."