Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1936, February 25 - Youth Falls Under CPR Train Approaching Ottawa Union Station, one fatality

Ottawa Citizen 25 February 1936

Montreal Youth Is Killed Under Train
Roland Durocher, 19, Slipped and Fell As He Jumped Off Tender.
An inquest was opened this morning into the death of Roland Durocher. 19, of Casgrain street. Montreal, who was fatally injured when he jumped off the tender and slipped and fell under the wheels of the second last coach of the CPR Montreal-Ottawa train as it was pulling into the yards here shortly before one o'clock this morning.
Durocher with his chum, Henri Mercier, 15, of 5145 Henri Julien street, Montreal, were said by police to be beating their way to Timmins. Ont., where they were going to seek employment. The boys left Montreal on the train at 10.15 p.m.. As Durocher had relatives in Ottawa it was the intention of the boys to stop off here to see them before going on to Timmins.
The badly mutilated body of Durocher was found by his chum, who had jumped to safety first. The train carried Durocher on into the yard out of his sight and as he was walking into the yard he saw what he thought was an old coat and found it was his friend's body.
Mercier, when he saw the body of his chum, rushed into the station and told officials. Constables John Cavan and Arthur Rondeau of the city police were sent to the scene and brought Mercier to the police station where he told his story.
The inquest, opened at Hulse Brothers' funeral home, 315 McLeod street by Dr. J. E. Craig, coroner, was adjourned until Thursday at 8 p.m. at the police station.
The body of Durocher was identified by Mercier, who will be held in Ottawa until the inquest on Thursday when he will give evidence.
Near Laurier Bridge.
The scene of the fatal accident is just 150 yards south of the Laurier avenue bridge where the train would be slowing down to come into the station. At this point there is a sloping snow bank and it is believed that Durocher's feet struck this when he jumped from the train and he lost his footing and fell under the last cars.
The trainmen in charge of the train were Eloi Huard, 142 Irving avenue, engineer, and Clarence Leach, 118 Rochester street, conductor. They did not know of the tragedy until they reported off duty at the Union Station and Mercier rushed into the station and told of the accident.

Ottawa Journal 28 February 1936

Death of Youth Due to Accident
Constable tells of commandeering locomotive in search for body.

How he commandeered a railway locomotive to search for the body of Roland Desrochers, 19, of Montreal, who was killed while riding "blind baggage" on the Imperial limited early Tuesday morning, was described by Constable Arthur Rondeau at the inquest into the death of the youth at police headquarters last evening.
After hearing the evidence, the coroners jury under Dr. J.E. Craig decided Desrochers met his death while trespassing and that it was accidental.
Desrochers and a chum, Henri Mercier, 15, of Montreal, jumped from the tender of the fast CPR train as it entered the Union Station yards at the Deep Cut. Mervier, who landed safely, found his friend lying dead father north along the right-of-way, apparently struck by the side of the train as he jumped. Mercier at once notified railwaymen at the terminal.
Sent to the yard to find the body and not knowing exactly where it was, Constable Rondeau signalled to a passing locomotive to stop. He climbed on the fender and the engineer drove slowly along the line so that the sweeping rays of the headlight would enable the officer to find the object of his search. The body was found about 150 yards south of the Laurier avenue Bridge. The engine crew then drove the Constable, still on the fender, back to the Union Station to call an ambulance.
Members of the train crew, Eloi Huard, 142 Irving Avenue, engineer; John Finn, 41 Spadina avenue, fireman; Clarence W. Leach, 118 Rochester Street, conductor; Frank Hawkins, 60 Spruce street, and Charles Nicholson, 107 Hamilton Avenue, brakemen, told the coroner and jury they knew nothing about any accident until after they had pulled into the station.
Other Witnesses examined by acting Crown Attorney Raoul Mercier were Dr. D.E. Winter, Edouard Laurin, 332 Champlain avenue, Hull, car inspector, and Constable William Petty, of the Canadian National Railway police.
Henri Mercier, who has been held here as a witness since the accident, is being sent home to Montreal by the railway.

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Updated 22 April 2021