Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1929, 4 June - Crossing collision at Monkland, CPR., Winchester sub., four fatalities, one injury

Winchester Press 6 June  1929

Four Killed at Railway Crossing near Monkland

Another terrible accident occurred at a railroad crossing near Monkland on Tuesday afternoon when four people were killed and one woman badly injured. The accident, which was witnessed by Nathan Robinson who was working in a field just north of the track, indicated that the passengers in the ill-fated car waited for an eastbound freight to pass the crossing, and as soon as the track was clear from that direction, continued on their way, apparently failing to see the oncoming train from the east.
The car was literally torn to pieces, the main part of the body being found on the north side of the tracks a few feet from the crossing, while the gas tank, part of the top and some small parts were a few feet beyond the crossing on the south side as were also three suitcases containing personal effects of the victims.
The bodies of the two young women were found on the south side of the eastbound track not more than 100 feet from the fatal crossing. Mrs. Giroux, who was the only one to escape, when picked up, near the body of her daughter, was found to be suffering from a scalp wound several inches long. She, with Bruno Giroux, who died on his way to Smiths Falls, where they were taken on the freight train, was unable to give any explanation of the accident. In the coat of Bruno Giroux was found several bills of lading, dated at Cobalt on May 27th, showing that the Giroux household effects had on that today been shipped to Cornwall over the T. and N. O. Railway, the party apparently being on their way to Cornwall to make their home here.
The train, when it struck the touring car, was not going more than 20 miles and an hour, and it stopped within two or three hundred feet of the crossing.
The coroner, Dr. Howard Mnnro [sic], of Maxville and C. A. McHugh, C. P. R. Division superintendent at Smiths Falls, arrived on the scene shortly after the tragedy. News of the event spread about the countryside rapidly and all through the late afternoon cars full of morbidly curious people arrived to view the bodies of the victims and the wrecked car. The removal of the bodies from the spot where they had been placed along the track to the freight (s)hed a quarter of a mile away, was arranged as soon as the coroner arrived. The coroner immediately empanelled a jury, which viewed the remains, after which adjournment was made to a date to be fixed.
One daughter, Miss Irene, aged 17 years, who was of the unfortunate party, remained with friends at Plantagenet, where they had remained over the night before to attend a wedding. And the decision saved her life. On her is now the responsibility of looking after the funeral of those killed.
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Winchester Press 20 June 1929

The coroner jury in the Monkland Railway tragedy of two weeks ago recommended that safety devices be placed at the crossing, If the railway companies would placeabove their usual warning  signs the words "Double track" and "Look Both Ways" it would help a lot.

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Updated 5 November 2021