Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1926, April 21 - Child killed by train at Cyrville, C.N.R., L'Orignal sub.

Ottawa Journal 22 April 1926

Cyrville Child Fatally Injured By C.N.R. Train
Eastview Priest makes Futile Effort to Warn Girl of Danger
Gazes Horror Stricken at Approaching Train
Yvonne Julien so frightened she could not step across rail to saferty.
The third child in the Ottawa District to die a tragic death in 24 hours, Yvonne Julien, 9 - year - old daughter of J. A. Julien, a porter in the Post Office Department, Ottawa, was instantly killed yesterday afternoon when struck by a C. N. R. Montreal - Ottawa train at a level crossing at Cyrville.
The crossing at which the accident occurred is in the village of Cyrville, where the Cyrville Road crosses the C. N. R. tracks. After being struck by the train, the child was carried a distance estimated at 90 feet. When picked up, there was a trace of life in the hopelessly smashed body, but it vanished almost immediately before medical aid could be summoned.
Priest saw accident.
The accident happened at 4.16 o'clock, when the child was returning from school to her home on the Cyrville Road. An eye-witness was Rev. Father Henri Lemmens, of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Eastview, who had been making calls in the Cyrville district, and was walking west along the Cyrville road  aproaching the C. N. R. crossing, which is a little west of a small flag station maintained by the C.N.R. at this point.
According to Rev. Father Lemmens, before he reached the tracks his attention was drawn to the crossing by the warning whistle of the train. As he looked at the crossing, he saw the child standing in the centre of the tracks, gazing apparently in spell bound terror at the approaching train. He commenced to run and endeavoured to attract the attention of the child by shouting, but the little girl apparently was unaware of her danger or else was paralyzed by fear, and before he could reach the crossing, the train in the shrieking tumult of wheels locked in emergency and swept past. It carried the child along on the pilot of the engine until as it came to a jerking halt, it tossed her to the side of the right of way.
Pick up little body.
Rev. Father Lemmens reached the little form at about the same time as did the engineer Thomas J. Lynch, of 65 Rosemere Avenue, Ottawa, and with the assistance of others, the child was placed on the train. The train was then backed up to the small station, a distance of a few hundred yards, but although there had been some sign of life when she was first picked up, life had very apparently departed by the time the train reached the small station. The badly broken remains were then placed in the building to await the arrival of the coroner John E. Craig, of Ottawa, who was notified along with Gautier and Co., undertakers. The train officials having done everything possible then returned to the train and it proceeded to Ottawa where it arrived at 4.42, 12 minutes behind its scheduled time, 4.30. The conductor on the train was Jay Williams, of Montreal.
Coroner Craig, County Chief of Police Ernest Read, Chief of Police Richard Manion, of Eastview, arrived soon after the accident and after particulars had to be noted.
Coroner J. E. Craig formally opened an inquest at Gauthier's undertaking parlours, St. Patrick Street, at 10 o'clock this morning, but evidence will be taken only at 8 o'clock on Monday evening next.
Child paid no heed.
In his report concerning the accident, Mr. Lynch, the engineer, stated that while approaching the crossing at Cyrville, he saw a child come into the track from the left. The bell was ringing and whistle blowing, but the child paid no heed and continued to stand between the tracks. He immediately applied the automatic brake valve in emergency position, and the train stopped about five poles past the crossing. The train, he stated, was travelling at about 35 miles per hour at the time. Mr. Lynch also noted the efforts of the priest to attract the child away from the track, but she paid no heed.

Ottawa Journal 26 April 1926

Death accidental.
A verdict of accidental death attaching no blame for the tragedy was returned by a coroner's jury last night in the Court  House investigating the death of 9-year-old Yvette Julien, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. J. A. Julien, of Cyrville, who was killed by a C. N. R. train at a grade crossing at Cyrville, April 21.
Thomas Lynch, 465 Rosemere avenue, the engineer of the train, said he first noticed the child stepping on the crossing when he was 300 feet away. He blew the whistle and when the child did not make a move he put on the emergency brakes. The child had plenty of time to get across, he declared.
Coroner John E. Craig, M. D., presided.

Return to Main Page of Railway Accidents

Updated 24 November 2020