Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1926, November 14 - Crossing collision at Cobden, CPR., Chalk River sub., four fatalities

Ottawa Citizen 15 November 1926

Distressing Accident at C.P.R. Level Crossing at Cobden. Fourth Child Escapes with Slight Injuries. Family Was Returning from Church Service When Accident Happened.
RENFREW, Nov. 14. Garfield Humphries, farmer, aged 37, his two children, Edgar aged eight. and Nina aged six, were instantly killed when the Durant car in which they were driving was struck by a CP.R. freight train travelling east from Chalk River to Smith Falls, at 12.15 noon today, at a level crossing on the main street, Cobden. Another son, George, aged four, died a few hours later, while Mabel, aged seven, is seriously injured.
Mr. Humphries with his children was returning to the farm home in Bromley township, which is the old Humphries' homestead, after attending the morning service in the United Church, Cobden, when the accident happened.
The crossing has always been considered a dangerous one as the view is obstructed from the south approach to it by an elevator, and this is the direction in which the doomed car was travelling. There were several eye-witnesses to the tragedy. Engineer Hamilton says he blew tor the crossing but it is believed that Humphries did not hear the whistle as there were several other cars coming behind which caused considerable noise. He also had the side-curtains up. Mr. A. E. Yates, who conducts a grocery business just at the crossing, was one eyewitness and says he believes Mr. Humphries never heard the whistle. The car was struck in the center and hurled with all its occupants a distance of about 125 feet. Mr. Yates rushed to the scene of the accident and called for medical aid immediately.
Miss Stella Ross, R.N, was the first on the scene, shortly followed by Dr. Ritchie, Cobden, and Dr. C. W. Ferrill, Cobden. Mr. Humphries. Edgar and Nina were pronounced dead, and Dr. G. E. Josephs, of Pembroke, the coroner, was sent for. The two other children, George and Mabel, were carried to the Yates home. Dr. Ritchie said that everything had been done for little George that was humanly possible, but he could not see that he would live through the night. The unfortunate child suffered concussion of the brain. He died at seven o'clock, his mother being at the bedside.
Injuries to Young Girl.
 Little seven year old Mabel, would recover, the doctor believed. She had slight internal injuries, a broken shoulder and was suffering from shock.
The mother, when told of the dreadful accident which had befallen her loved ones, bore up wonderfully. She had stayed at home to prepare the dinner and look afterr the twin babies, the only surviving children. When Coroner Josephs arrived he viewed the bodies and ordered their removal to the Fraser undertaking parlors.
Hold Inquest Today.
The Inquest will be held tomorrow morning in Cobden at ten o'clock. The Durant car In which they were driving was a total wreck. The top was completely demolished. No trace of a windshield could be found.
The side curtains were torn from their place and hanging. Both front and back seats were almost in ribbons. The steering wheel was broken. The engine occupied most of the front seat. A sandal of little Nina was hanging to the spoke of one of the wheels. The automobile evidently was one purchased this year as only about six thousand miles showed on the speedometer.
A deep cut in the temple was the only mark on the deceased man, although it is believed the steering wheel stabbed him in the chest and this caused his death. One arm was broken.
Widespread Sorrow.
Little Nina had bled freely from the nose and mouth, while Edgar was badly cut about the head. When Citizen reporter arrived about an hour following the accident, hundreds weve gathered about the scene of the tragedy. The whole town was in a state of sorrow. Grief was expressed on every hand as the Humphries' family were held in very high esteem.
Conductor Rose, of Smiths Falls, was in charge of the train, Number 74. Engineer Hamilton was at the throttle of Engine Number 2602. The train stopped for about an hour. The crew will return to Cobden tomorrow for the inquest.
Samuel McLaren and Miss Vide Guest were driving their cars just behind the ill-fated one, and thought that Mr. Humphries was driving about 15 miles an hour when the accident happened.
Garfield Humphries is a son of John Humphries, of Renfrew, and took over the farm seven years ago when his father retired and moved into Renfrew. His mother is dead. The funeral will be held Tuesday. The wide-spread sorrow was expressed in prayer tonight in various pulpits in Renfrew and Cobden.

Kemptville Weekly Advance 18 November 1926

Whean Train Crashes into Car At Cobden Station.
Garland Humphries, of Cobden, Ont, his son, Edgar, and his daughter, Nina, aged eight, and six years respectively, met a tragic death shortly after noon Sunday when a freight train crashed into the automobile in which they were driving, at the railway crossing at Cobden Station. The three were instantly killed.
George Humphries, aged four years, suffered a badly fractured skull, from which he died two hours later. Mabel Humphries, aged seven years, only survivor of the fatal crash, received a broken collar-bone and minor injuries. Her condition is considered critical.
Mr. Garland Humphries was a farmer residing about four miles west of Cobden. With his four children he had been attending church service and was on his way home when the accident occurred. The heavy freight train struck the car just as it was on the crossing, smashing it completely. It is believed that Mr. Humphries had no knowledge of the train's proximity. The covers of the car were closed in and it is gathered that none of the five occupants of the machine heard the noise of the approaching train.
The entire countryside about Cobden has been shocked by news of the tragic accident as Mr. Humphries was well known and highly thought of through-out the district He was the son of Mr. and Mrs. John Humphries, of Renfrew, and leaves a wife and three children.
According to witnesses of the accident Mr. Humphries' car was carried a distance of 50 feet when the train struck it The train was a special C.P. R. freight and was in charge of Conductor William Rose, of Smith's Falls, who happens to be a distant relative of Mr. Humphries.- Smith's Falls Record News.

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