Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1929, May 16 - Crossing collision at Winchester, CPR., Winchester sub., one fatality

Winchester Press 16 May  1929

Fast Train Smashes into Car at Crossing
Mr. Harry Gallagher, of Tpyes Hill, a few miles from Winchester Springs coming to Winchester in his Chevrolet car this morning, was caught at the railroad crossing here as the limited express was passing through at a rate of over 50 miles per hour,and his car smashed into splinters, himself thrown across a road south of the track. To what extent he is injured is not known, but he was living when picked up and taken to Smiths Falls hospital, with Dr. McLaughlin in charge, on the train that struck him. The particulars, so far as can be learned are these. Owing to the very heavy wind blowing from the west, and being in a closed car, Mr. Gallagher did not hear the whistle of the fast express that passes through here at quarter to twelve, noon, and he evidently did not look east for the train as those who were nearby at the time shouted to him and tried to attract his attention. He nearl;y got over, when the big locomotive caught the rear of his car, threw it across the south track to the side of the road, and Mr. Gallagher landed on the far side of the road. He was conscious when picked up. The express having come to a stop, backed to the station, and Mr. Gallagher was placed in the baggage car whti Dr. McLaughlin in charge and taken to Smiths Falls.
A phone message received at the Press office from Dr. McLaughlin just before going to press says that Mr. Gallagher had been taken to the hospital and had stood the trip well. He had six ribs broken, and was otherwise cut and bruised, but suffered most from the shock. Dr. Mclaughlin stated that he was resting nicely and unless unforseen complications set in he ?? make a complete recovery
Balance is missing.

Ottawa Citizen 17 May 1929.

Fatally Injured When Train Hits Car on Crossing
Henry Gallagher, Winchester Springs, Fails to See Express as He Drives to fatal Spot.
KEMPTVILLE, Ont., May , 16, When the motor car, of which he was the only occupant, was struck by the Montreal-Chicago fast train, at the Winchester crossing this morning, Henry Gallagher, aged 26 years, of Winchester Springs, was fatally injured. He died In a Smiths Falls hospital this afternoon from shock. An inquest will be held.
The train, which does not stop at Winchester, was travelling at about 50 or 60 miles an hour when it struck Gallagher's auto broadside and shattered it to atoms. At the time of the accident a freight train was shunting a short distance to the east e! the crossing, and it is thought that the unfortunate man did not notlce the approach of the express on account of this. Following the crash the train was brought to a stop and the injured man, with Dr. P. Mc Laughlin, of Winchester, were taken aboard and brought to Smiths Falls where the former was admitted to the hospital.
Gallaglier, in company with Robert Kirkwood, left Winchester Springs in a small coupe and went to Winchester where the latter got his car out of a garage. They were on their way home, Kirkwood driving ahead and Gallagher a short distance behind him when the crash occurred. Kirkwood got over the crossing before the arrival of the train.
In the smash Gallaghers auto was hurled about fifty feet through the air by the force of the impact, and fell in splinters. Gallagher was thrown out and was hurled about forty feet further.
The late Mr. Gallagher is survived by his widow, formerly Mary Gibson; his parents, and one brother, Earl. No funeral arrangements have been made yet.

Winchester Press 23 May 1929

Accident Proved Fatal
The accident that occurred at the railroad crossing here on Thursday morning last, when Harry Gallagher, of Winchester Springs, was hurled some thirty feet when his car was struck by the fast express, resulted in the death of the young man a few hours after his arrival at the hospital in Smiths Falls.
- - -

Coroner's Inquest
An inquest was held in the town hall, Winchester, on Tuesday morning by Coroner Dr. McLaughlin, and presided over by County Crown Attorney Harkness, of Cornwall. The jury was composed of the following: T. O. Keyes, foreman, and Messrs L. J. Dixon, L. Boyd, Wm. Johnston H. Annable, K. Helmer, H. Melvin, M. Davidson, R. McQuaig, W. Shaver, Chester Robinson and R. Elliott.
The verdict arrived at was as follows: "We the undersigned jurors, agree that Harry D. Gallagher came to his death on May 16th, 1929 from being hit by the fast express, No. 19 at the crossing east of the station at Winchester, according to the evidence we consider his view was obstructed by the way-freight on the siding which was the cause of the accident. We recommend that better protection be provided for the safety of the public at this Crossing."
The evidence given at the inquest was as follows:
The first witness called was Mr. Clifford Summers, who testified that he had heard the whistle of the fast train blowing from where he sat at the freight sheds, and saw it go past the freight train on the siding, but could not see the man get hit for the back of his own car. He run over to the crossing and Mr. Gallagher was lying on the south side of the track west of crossing. He was unconscious when he reached him. Mr. Summers stated that a man driving across the crossing could hardly see a west-bound train until almost on the crossing, due to the way freight on the siding below the road.
Mr. Robt. Kirkwood was next called and testified that he had been up at the station with Mr. Gallagher and had started for home in front of him. He did not see the train until on the crossing and was only in second gear at the time. He did not hear the bell at the crossing or the train whistle. His details of the accident was similar to those given by other witnesses.
Messrs Dodd and John Mallory, both witnessed the accident, substantiated the evidence of the preceding witnesses in that the way-freight blocked the view to some extent, of the track to the east. They both heard the whistle of the train as it approached the crossing.
Mr. David Hummel, asst. agent, who was at the freight sheds at the time, next gave evidence similar to that of the other witnesses.
Mr. Thos. Martin, the engineer of the fast express, was next called, and testified that he had seen the car driven by Mr. Kirkwood was crossing the tracks, but as they were a reasonably safe distance away, had not applied the brakes. He next noticed the car of Mr. Gallagher approaching the tracks, it being about 20 ft. away from the tracks at the time that he saw it, while the train was about 800 ft. away. He immediately applied the emergency brakes, but the train was travelling at 60 miles per hour. had covered the distance before Mr. Gallagher could get across, and the car was struck. The engineer testified that a man should have been able to see his train when 20 ft. off the crossing, for he could see the car when it was a full length from the tracks.
Mr. Miskelly, conductor of the way freight, testified that one could see at least 800 ft. down the track past the freight of which he had charge from 20 ft. off the tracks, for he had purposely looked after the accident had happened. He stated that it was not customary for trainmen to protect the public crossing unless the train of which they had particular charge was moving about the crossing. After his evidence the jury was called upon for its verdict, and the above verdict was brought in.

Morrisburg Leader 24 May 1929

Harry Gallagher, Toys Hill, died at 4.40 last Thursday afternoon in Smiths Falls Hospital as a result of injuries and shock suffered when his automobile was struck by an express train on a level crossing at Winchester at 11.45 Thursday morning. The automobile was literally smashed to atoms. Mr. Gallagher was picked up in a semi-conscious state following the accident and was rushed to Smiths Falls where medical men, after examining him were confident that he would recover. His desth came unexpectedly and is believed to have been due to shock, as an X-ray examination failed to disclose internal or other injuries that might have caused him to succumb. The body was taken to Winchester Friday morning and was viewed by a jury empannelled by Dr. Peter Mclaughlin coroner. The inquest was adjourned until 10.30 Tuesday.

Coroners inquest repeted verbatim from Winchester Press 23 May 1929

Return to Main Page of Railway Accidents

Updated 5 November 2021