|Ottawa Journal 26 June 1929|
Switch left open. Train jumps rails
Passenger train from Ottawa Crashes into Freight Cars at Alexandia
Carrying 150 passengers, the Canadian National Railway train which left Ottawa for Montreal at 2.30 yesterday afternoon ran into an open switch near Alexandria station and wrecked a line of freight cars. While at first it looked as if the collision would assume large proportions only one person was injured, A.E. Ricketts, fireman, of Montreal, who sustained a fractured collar bone, severe bruises and internal injuries.
Ran into derailerWhen entering Alexandria about 3.45 p.m. The train ran into a derailer, tearing it out of the roadbed and then struck the open switch. After striking the switch the train left the rails and tore up the roadbed.
A freight car containing wheat, the property of D. Markinson's flour mills, was telescoped, the contents scattering all over the track. The train also ran into a string of freight cars and pushed them right over the open end of the siding into the railway station demolishing part of it.
Have Near Escape.The car digging itself into the roadbed probably saved a more serious collision for it minimized the impact with the freight cars which might have been pushed right through the station. Many people were waiting on the station platform for the arrival of the train and said they had a remarkable escape when the train stopped at the end of the platform. In all three freight cars were destroyed. A number of handcars, used by a section of workmen who were working nearby, were also totally wrecked.
Fireman Ricketts received his injuries through jumping from the engine before it finally came to a standstill. Paul Lalonde, also of Montreal, followed Ricketts but escaped without injury, as did Conductor George Keeler, of Montreal.
No damage was done to the three cars on the passenger train, although the passengers were badly shaken up. As soon as the crash came, G.W. Sheppherd, the station agent, notified Doctors E. Charbonneau, J.T. Rose and M. Markson, and Fire Chief Max Seger. The doctors were quickly on the scene and the fireman, after examination, was taken to the house of J.T. Bottomleym foreman of the Bell Telephone Company. Later he was taken to Montreal where an X-ray examination will be made to ascertain the extent of his injuries.
Alex McNaughton, superintendent of the Montreal division, was called to the scene of the collision and he ordered the train running from Hawkesbury to Glen Robertson to proceed to Alexandria. On arrival, two day coaches and a palour car of the wrecked train were coupled on to it and it proceeded to Coteau Junction where another engine was chartered to take the passengers to Montreal. The passengers arrived there 45 minutes late.
Mr. McNaughton ordered an investigation to be held in Montreal this morning for the purpose of determining who was responsible for the switch being left open. Last night Mr. McNaughton would give no statement regarding the wreck.