|Ottawa Journal 4 June 1931|
Inquest is opened into tragic death of Miss O'Neill
Popular Glebe Collegiate teachers friends are grieved at Farm Point Railway Fatality.
An inquest was formally opened last night by Dr. H. Dover, coroner, at the undertaking Parlours of McEvoy Bros., 471 Maclaren Street, into the death of Miss Mary Margaret (May) O'Neill, B.A., teacher at Glebe Collegiate Institute for the past seven years, who died in the Civic Hospital yesterday afternoon shortly before 4 o'clock from injuries received when she was knocked down at Farm Point P.Q., by the C.P.R. train from Maniwaki to Ottawa yesterday morning.
The inquest was adjourned until 8.30 p.m. on Tuesday next at the Ottawa Police Station.
News of the death of Miss O'Neill came as a great shock to her many friends in the city and cast a gloom over an otherwise perfect day's holiday for them. Miss O'Neill was highly esteemed by her colleagues on the teaching staff of Glebe Collegiate and one of the most of its most popular members.
Walking to Farm.
Along with Miss Gutteridge, B.A., 265 1st Avenue, and Miss Beatrice Gilhooly, B.A., 229 Powell Avenue, two of her teacher colleagues at Glebe Collegiate, Miss O'Neill went to Farm Point yesterday morning by train to enjoy the holiday at the summer Cottage of Miss Gilhooly.
About 9.30 a.m. Miss O'Neill started alone to visit a nearby farm house, taking a shortcut across the C.P.R. tracks by means of the cattle guard at the first crossing north of the railway station at Farm Point. She had crossed the track and was apparently intending to continue alongside it when train no. 532 which left Maniwaki at 7.05 a.m., Standard Time, and was due in Ottawa at 10.20 a.m., suddenly rounded the sharp curve, striking her in the back and knocking her down heavily. She was walking on the north side of the track.
T. Allen, 91 Preston Street, was the driver of the train. In his report to William Garland, assistant divisional superintendent of the C.P.R., the locomotive driver stated that on account of the sharp curve he did not see Miss O'Neill until the train had almost reached her. He threw his brakes into emergency and stopped the train within 300 feet.
Miss O'Neill had been knocked face downwards and was unconscious when picked up by the train crew. John Glenn, 403 Maclaren Street, was conductor of the train.
Dr. A. Geggie, of Wakefield, was called, and rendered first aid. He ordered Miss O'Neill removed to hospital. She was placed on the train and brought to Ottawa. On arrival here, Miss O'Neill was rushed to the Civic Hospital in the ambulance of George B. Burney and Son, Somerset Street. Dr. Stuartt Evans attended, but her injuries were so serious that Miss O'Neill died shortly before four p.m., from a fractured skull.
Ottawa Citizen 10 June 1931
Jury Finds Death Of Miss M. O'Neill Was Accidental
Due to Injuries and Shock Caused By Being Struck By Train Near Farm Point.
Accidental death due to injuries and shock was the verdict returned by the coroner's jury at the inquest held last evening in the police station into the death of Miss Mary Margaret O'Neill, B.A., popular member of the teaching staff of the Glebe Collegiate Instiute, who was struck by the C.P.R. Maniwaki-Ottawa train near Farm Point on the morning of June 3.
Coroner Harry Dover, M.D., presided, and the Canadian Pacific Railway was represented by Cuthbert Scott, of the legal firm of Ewart, Scott, Kelley and Kelley, who submitted photographs of the scene of the accident.
From the evidence given by witnesses it transpired that the late Miss O'Neill had gone to Farm Point on the morning of June 3 to enjoy the holiday at the summer cottage of a colleague, Miss Beatrice Gilhooly. Shortly before 9.30 a.m. she had left the cottage to go to a nearby farmhouse, and on her return journey, in taking a short cut along the tracks, she had been struck by the oncoming train. It was brought out in the evidence that Miss O'Neill took no precautions to ascertain if a train was approaching and although perfect in her hearing did not even turn her head when the engine was nearly on her.
Applied Emergency Brake.T. Allen, engineer of the train, who was the first witness called, testified that the train was rounding a curve near Farm Point station when, some fifty feet from a level crossing, the firemen called to him to stop the train. He at once applied the emergency brake and the train, which was travelling at a speed of between 20-25 miles an hour at the time, was brought to a halt within the length of the engine and two cars. The whistle was blown at a post 80 yards from the crossing and the automatic bell on the engine was ringing. By reason of the curve he was unable to see the deceased, who was on the right of way, until the engine was within a short distance of her.
By Mr. Scott: "She was walking in the same direction the train was going and on the right of way?"
Joseph N. Tremblay. fireman on the train, said that at a point some 200-300 feet from the crossing he saw a woman walking on the road which crosses the tracks. He saw her turn from the road onto the tracks and at once gave the warning to the driver to stop. On the train coming to a standstill he went back and found the deceased lying unconscious against some rocks, 10-15 feet from the tracks.
John Glenn, conductor, told of taking Miss 0'Neill into a summer cottage nearby and of later placing her on stretchcr in a baggage car to be taken to Ottawa,
D. H. Saylor. 1054 Gladtone avenue, who saw the accident from the highway running parallel to the railway tracks, said Miss O'Neill was about to step off the cattle guard near the crossing when she was struck She had her back turned to the oncoming train and did not look round even when the engine was about to hit her.
Miss C . Gutteridge, a colleague of Miss O'Neill, told of the deceased leaving the cottage to obtain milk and restified that her hearing was perfect
A. Murray Milne, who arrived on the scene alter the occurrence, also gave evidence.
Dr. A.F. Dunn, of the Civic Hospital staff, ascribed death to fracture of the skull.