Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1935, November 9 - Crossing Collision, Carleton Avenue, CPR., Carleton Place sub., horse killed

Ottawa Citizen 9 September, 1935

Train Hits Rig, Milk Driver In Narrow Escape
Walter Charbonneau leaped From Vehicle Moment Before It Was Swept From Under Him. Carleton Ave. Crossing Scene of Collision
Horse Fatally Injured and Milk Rig Smashed To Matchwood By Fast Train.
Struck by an east-bound fast C.P.R. transcontinental passenger train at the Carleton avenue crossing, Ottawa West, at 7.40 clock this morning, an Ottawa Dairy milk wagon in charge of Walter Charbonneau, Edwards street. Carlington, was shattered to matchwood and the horse fatally injured. The driver escaped injury. As if by miracle Charbonneau managed to step from the rig just as it was swept from under him by the fast train.
Carleton avenue crossing is rorth of Wellington street near the Island Park driveway.
"The horse was just over the track and the wagon across the rails when I first noticed the train bearing down on me." Charbonneau told The Citizen. "In an effort to save my horse I jumped to the ground and attempted to swing him clear of the locomotive when he was struck, his haunches torn away and my rig carried on into the city on the front of the train." He added that he heard no train whistle, but this might be explained by the rattle of empty bottles.
Parts of the milk wagon were scattered for several city blocks along the track. Residents near the scene of the accident said that the train proceeded to Ottawa West station at Bayview road over a mile away before stopping. The train was backed up and parts of the milk wagon were taken off the front of the locomotive.
Clear View of Crossing
There is a clear view west from this crossing for over half a mile. Charbonneau said that he drove easterly onto Carleton avenue turning off Pacific street, which runs alongside the tracks and turned north over the crossing on Carleton avenue. There is no crossing signal and he said that he did not hear the train.
This is the second such accident that occurred during the last few years at this crossing, and tn both cases Ottawa Dairy milk rigs were involved.
Chief Charles P. McCarthy of the Carleton county police was called to investigate the accident and to destroy the horse which lived for about fifteen minutes after being struck. Chief McCarthy agreed that possibly the rattling of the milk bottles might result in Charbonneau not hearing the train but there was nothing to prevent him from seeing its approach.
During the morning many anxious inquiries were received at The Citizen office about the accident, particularly from residents along the railway In the West End who noticed the train coming into the city with wreckage of the milk rig piled up on the pilot.

Ottawa Journal 9 November 1935

Driver Leaps and Fast Train Hits Horse and Wagon
Walter J. Charbonneau Has Narrow Escape on C.P.R. Crossing in Ottawa West
Walter J. Charbonneau, of Edward street, City View, driver for the Ottawa Dairy Company, had a narrow escape from death at 7.40 o'clock this morning when the C.P.R. flyer from Sault Ste. Marie crashed into his horse and rig at the Carleton avenue level crossing in Ottawa West.
According to Charbonneau's story told to Chief Charles P. McCarthy, of the county police force who investigated. his rig was in the centre of the tracks when it was smashed to pieces by the fast moving train.
The driver, who had not heard the train whistle and bell, noticed the train when "it was right on top of the rig." He leaped to safety, the train missing him by inches.
So great was the impact that only one wheel of the rig was left intact and parts of it were strewn for hundreds of yards around. The horse was killed.
Charbonneau claimed that the whistle and the bell of the train were not going at the time but this was denied by C.P R. officials and Herbert Kenny. 210 Holland avenue, engineer. The train arrived at Union Station 10 minutes late.

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Updated 16 April 2021