Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1940, November 6 - Crossing collision, Billings, CPR., Sussex Street sub., two injured

Ottawa Citizen 7 November 1940

Two Injured In Crossing Crash Outside Ottawa
Mrs. A. R. Charbomieau, 436 Nelson St., in Critical Condition. Montreal Driver Also in Hospital.

Two persons were injured, one critically, when an automobile and train collided at level crossing on the Metcalfe road, half a mile from Billings Bridge, about midnight last night.
Loses Right Eyesight.
The more seriously injured person, Mrs. A. R. Charbonneau, 436 Nelson street, will lose the sight of her right eye. She also suffered fractured nose and multiple cuts and bruises. Following an operation at the Ottawa General Hospital this morning, officials stated that Mrs. Charbonneau's condition is slightly improved but that it is still critical.
George Richmond Pelletier, 32, of 10826 St. Denis street, Montreal, driver of the car, suffered a fractured left leg and multiple cuts and bruises. The complete extent of his injuries will not be known until X-ray plates taken this morning are examined. He is also in the General Hospital.
The accident occurred at the C.P.R. crossing at Billings Bridge. There is no wig-wag sign or bell, but there is a sign about 300 yards from the crossing to warn the public.
Hit by Pool Train.
According to police, the car was travelling towards Ottawa and had slowed down, but did not stop at the crossing. The train, a west-bound C.N.R.-C.P.R. pool train, hit the front of the car a little to the side, pushing the engine back and to one side and shattering the windshield and door windows.
Both Thrown Out.
Both occupants were thrown out the left hand side of the vehicle and the train came to a stop before the last coach had passed the crossing.
Residents of nearby homes. hearing the crash, had to crawl under the coaches to get at the injured persons, on the other side of the tracks, who were taken to the residence of Orval Kinnaird. First aid was administered by Col. A. T. Shillington, M.D., and then taken to hospital in Hulse and Playfair's ambulance.
The train was in charge of Engineer William Short, 508 Parkdale avenue, with W. F. Alexander, 471 Somerset street west, as conductor.
The front of the automobile, which was a 1940 model, bearing Quebec license plates, was completely smashed. Parts of the front headlights and the bumper were picked up a considerable distance from the scene. The car was turned completely around by the force of the impact.
Mrs. Charbonneau, according to a brother-in-law, was married only seven weeks ago. Mr. Pelletier is an employe of a Montreal distillery firm.
Constable T. A. Hazlitt of the Ontario provincial police investigated.

Ottawa Journal 7 November 1940

Two Badly Hurt Billings Bridge; Car-Train Crash
Mrs. A. Charbonneau, Of Ottawa, Criticaf Montreal Driver

Two persons wer injured one critically, when the automobile in which they were driving was in collision with a passenger train at the C.P.R. crossing on the Metcalfe road at Billings' Bridge at midnight on Wednesday.
They were:
Mr. A. R. Charbonneau, 23, a recent bride, of 436 Nelson street. Ottawa, who suffered the loss of her right eye, a broken nose, head injuries and shock, and
J. Richmond Felletler. 22, of 10826 St Denis street, Montreal, who suffered a broken left leg, chest injuries and shock.
An operation was performed to remove Mrs. Charbonneau's right eye at the Ottawa General Hospital this morning and X-rays will be taken later in the day to ascertain whether she has any fractures of the skull.  Her condition was described as "very serious" by Dr George Lafromboise who performed the operation.
Pelletier's condition was not so serious, he having sustained several fractures of the leg and broken ribs.
The front part of the car was a mass of twisted steel and parts of the chassis were scattered all over the roadway and crossing.
The automobile, a 1940 light sedan was travelling toward Ottawa while the train, the Toronto pool train, was leaving the city.
Thrown From Car.
Mr. Pelletier, the driver of the car, and Mrs. Charbonneau. who was sitting in the front seat beside him. were thrown out of the left door on to the roadway in the crash. The car was thrown backwards about 20 feet and turned around but did not leave the pavement.
Mrs. Charbonneau received the brunt of the crash as the right front part of the automobile crashed into the front of the engine.
The crash was heard by residents in the vicinity but no one witnessed it. Daniel Leroux, who lives 100 yards from the crossing, said he heard the crash while he was listening to the radio,
"I ran out and saw the coaches of the train stopped on the crossing. ran under the carriage of one of the coaches and saw the two people lying on the roadway near the car.  The train crew was preparing to pick them up on stretchers."
Engineer William Short, of 508 Parkdale avenue, stated he did not see the automobile because he was seated at the right hand window of the engine. The automobile was approaching on his left.
Officials of the railway stated the train had left Union Station at 11.47 p.m. and was just picking up speed. It was travelling about 25 miles per hour. Engineer Short was assisted by W. F. Alexander, conductor, of 471 Somerset street west, and other members of the crew in carrying the injured on stretchers to the home, of Orval Kinnard, a short distance away.
Dr. A. T. Shillington, C.P.R. physician, was, summoned and gave medical aid there and at Ottawa General Hospital where the injured were taken in two Hulse and Playfair ambulances..
Montreal Salesman.
It was reported Mr. Pelletier, who is a Montreal salesman, did not see the train coming until he was right at the crossing. He jammed on bis brakes but the nose of the car was over the right-of-way and was in collision with the front part of the engine.
The crossing is about half a mile from the end of Bank street and is not protected by any wig-wag signal.
The engine; of the automobile was pushed back to the front seat and the bumper and parts of the radiator were thrown about 30 feet down the track.
Constable T. A. Hazlitt and Constable James Driscoll, of the Ottawa detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police, investigated.

Ottawa Citizwn 8 November 1940

Wallet Recovered In Wreck of Car
The two persons injured when an automobile struck a train at Billings Bridge early yesterday morning were reported as slightly improved at the General Hospital, Water street, early today. Mrs. A. R. Charbonneau, 436 Nelson street, was operated on yesterday and her right eye was removed. She also suffered multiple cuts and bruises. The other person involved was George R. Pellctier, St. Denis street, Montreal, who suffered a fractured left leg.
Following the accident, a wallet belonging to Mr. Pelletier was missing from the scene of the accident, but early last evening provincial police found that the wallet was in the wreck of the car at the South End Garage. The wallet contained a considerable sum of money and between $400 and $500 in checks made out to the firm where Mr. Pelletier is employed.

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