Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1939, November 19 - Crossing collision Russell road, CNR., Alexandria sub., no injuries

Ottawa Journal 20 November 1939

Four Metcalfe people Escape Train Hits Car
Leap to safety before locomotive shears engine from machine

Escaping death by a split second, four residents of Metcalfe leaped from an automobile just before it was struck by the Montreal-Vancouver CNR flyer on a level crossing on the Russell Road two miles south of Hurdman's Bridge on Sunday at 10.35 p.m.
Occupants of the automobiles were: W.A. McDowell the driver, his wife, and Mrs. W. A. McCooeye and her seven-year-old daughter, Phyllis.
Sheers Off Engine.
Mr. McDowell stalled the car on the tracks as he was attempting to put the gears in reverse to back it clear of the oncoming train.
The engine carried the car 29 feet down the tracks, shearing off the motor and entire front, leaving it a twisted mass of iron. But all occupants had leaped to safety after Mr. McDowell had shouted "jump"
Mrs. McDowell who was sitting in the front seat with her husband, jumped out and ran across the tracks in front of the engine. A projection on the cowcatcher of the locomotive caught the tail of her coat, tearing it as she flung herself off the right of way. The narrow escape left her speechless for some time after the accident but she was otherwise unharmed.
Mrs. McCooeye and her daughter jumped from the rear door, the former suffering a slight bump on the head and bruises. She did not require medical attention.
"I thought my end had come" Mr. McDowell told The Journal. "I wasn't worried so much about myself, it was the three others in the car I was worried about.
"I didn't see the train until it was practically at the tracks. I put on the brakes but by the time the car came to a stop, the front of it was over the tracks. When I put the gear shift into reverse the motor conked and there we were. It was terrible but I didn't become excited until I saw my wife run across the tracks directly in front of the engine.
"I realized later it was the best thing she could have done because if she hadn't, my car would have been dragged on top of her when the train struck it."
According to police Mr. McDowell was proceeding towards Metcalfe. Mrs. W. A. McCooeye and her seven-year-old daughter, Phyllis, were in the rear seat of the 1929 sedan.
At the point where the accident occurred there were two level crossings on the road 184 feet apart. Mr. McDowell crossed the first set of tracks and was a few feet away from the second crossing when his wife shouted: "Here comes a train ".
The engine was in charge of M.T. Ashe, 122 Argyle Avenue. The train arrived at Union Station 12 minutes late. Provincial  ConstableEmile Soubliere investigated.

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Updated 11 July 2021