Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1934, April 23 - Crossing collision Arnprior, CPR., Chalk River sub., two fatalities.

Ottawa Citizen 25 April 1934

Thousands Visit Byrne Homestead
P. A. Byrne and Daughter, Who Were Killed By Train, To Be Buried Tomorrow.
CARP, Ont., May 25. So great was the number of people who visited the home of the late P. A. Byrne near here last night to view the remains of Mr. Byrne and those of his daughter, Carmalita, both of whom lost their lives in collision with a train at a level crossing in Arnprior Wednesday, that automobiles were parked in the nearby fields. Thousands visited the home and practically every community from North Bay to Ottawa was represented.
Mr. Leo Byrne, eldest son arrived from Kenora, Miss Byrne Kama from Manitoulin Island, and Miss Marguerite arrived from Black Donald; all three are school teachers.
Father and daughter were on their way to Pembroke where the latter was to enter a hospital to commence a course of training and at the Daniel street crossing in Arnprior their car was hit by the westbound morning local and hurled twenty feet: the automobile landed against the steel standard of an electric signal bell, the impact being sufficient to dislodge the standard.
Miss Byrne suffered terrible cuts about the throat and her neck was broken. She bled profusely and died almost instantly.
Mr. Byrne was taken to an Ottawa hospital; he never regrained consciousness and at 6.05 that evening he died. His legs and one arm were fractured, broken ribs pierced his lungs and physicians said there was no part of his body that was not injured by the impact or cut by flying glass. Two or three times during the afternoon he seemed anxious to say something, but beyond the words, "I'm sorry," his utterances were not coherent.
Funeral Tomorrow.
The funeral will take place tomorrow morning at nine o'clock, standard time, to the Huntley church and cemetery.
The late P.A. Byrne, who was 58 years of age, was born in McNab township, third son of the late John Byrne. He is survived by his wife, by seven children, two brothers, John of Arnprior and Thomas, and one sister, Mrs. Ed. Levy of Munising, Mich. The members of the family are very widely known and probably none in all the countryside are more highly esteemed.
Inquest opened.
Dr. A Jamieson, coroner for the Arnprior district, opened an inquest into the death of Miss Byme and adjourned the taking of evidence until Saturday evening at Arnprior. Evidence given at this inquest will also be used to cover the death of Mr. Byrne.
Jury Sworn In.
The members of the jury sworn in were P.J. Heney, foreman, T.P. O'Toole, F.X. Desarmia. A. Sproule, J.Munro, A. Armand, T.Potter and J. Murphy. Dr. Jamieson presided at the preliminary inquest and he was assisted by Chief of Police Rodgers.

Ottawa Journal 28 May 1934

Accidental death is Jury's Verdict in Byrne Mishap
Finds car driven by victim's father "had either been struck or collided with train."

Arnprior, Ont., May 27. - a verdict of accidental death was returned by the jury empaneled to investigate the cause of the death of Miss Carmelelita Byrne, who was killed here on Wednesday in a level crossing accident when the car, driven by her father, P.A. Byrne, of Carp, who also died from injuries he received in the accident, collided with or was struck by a westbound C.P.R. Ottawa-Chalk River local. The jury, in the verdict, found the car "had either been struck by or collided with the train at the crossing."

Eye-witness Testifies.

J. A. McCormick, of the Bank of Nova Scotia staff, an eye-witness, testified he was on his way home to lunch, and was approaching the crossing when the local was pulling in. When about 35 feet from the crossing the Byrne car passed him. Although he would not estimate the rate the car was travelling, he was of the opinion that it was going fast, as the train at that moment was near the crossing.

Witness stated he threw out his arms and shouted, but apparently the occupants of the car did not see or hear either him or the train. Mr. McCormick said that as the car approached the crossing it was on the left side of the road and he believed it swerved to the right when almost upon the crossing. So close was witness that when the car and train collided the former missed him only by inches, when it was thrown forward against the signal standard.

Thomas Carthy, a taxi driver, who had been waiting at the station and was also and eye-witness, estimated the speed of the car at 15 to 18 miles per hour.

Oswald McComb, who had stopped his truck before reaching the crossing, stated the car had passed him at rather a fast clip, he thought. He had heard the train whistling.

Engineer tells story.

The engineer of the local, Harry Matthews, stated he first thought the car would stop, but when he saw it did not slow up, he immediately applied the emergency brakes, bringing the train to a stop in three and a half car lengths. He estimated the speed of the car between 15 and 18 miles per hour.

Chief of Police John S. Rodgers fyled a list of measurements he had to taken on his arrival at the scene, while Dr. J.H. Box gave evidence of a medical nature, testifying as the actual cause of Miss Byrne's death. The fireman of the train, Mr. Levert, although not an eye-witness of the accident, also gave evidence.

The inquest was under the direction of coroner Dr. A. Jamieson, assisted by chief Rodgers, while Crown Attorney H. B. Johnson, K.C., of Pembroke, questioned the witnesses. The jury comprised John P. Heney, Foreman; T.P. O'Toole, Andrew Sproule, Andrew Raymond, Joseph Murphy, James Munro and Thomas Potter.

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