Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1940, July 6 - Woman killed falling from a train near Hawthorne, CNR., Alexandria sub.

Ottawa Journal 8 July 1940

Woman Killed Falls From Train Near Ottawa
Mrs. Nellie Stracey, Montreal, Opens Rear Door of Last Car.
Falling from the small platform at the rear, of the Montreal-Ottawa C.N.R. train as it neared the Capital at 11.30 p.m. Saturday, Mrs. Nellie Stracey, 52, of 7 Park Place, Westmount, a CNR employe in Montreal, was killed instantly. The accident occurred just west of Hawthorne station.
Investigators reported Mrs. Stracey who was believed to be on her way here to visit friends for the week-end, went to the wash-room at the back of the last coach. Leaving: the washroom, she was seen by Brakeman George Burgess, of Ottawa, to open the rear door, apparently in the belief there was another car back of it .
Tried to Warn Her.
Mr. Burgess rushed to warn her, but on reaching the door discovered she had fallen from the platform. The train was brougnt to a stop, and Mrs. Stracey was found in the ditch alongside the tracks. When it was seen the woman was dead, the train proceeded to Union Station: and authorities were notified. H. H Brown was conductor of the train.
J. A. Rogers, CNR divisional superintendent told The Journal that, according to railway regulations, the staircases on either side of the platform at the rear of the last coach always; are kept open, this to permit the flagman to signal the engineer. At the back of the platform there is a guard rail. On all other coaches the staircases are closed over, when a train is moving, and passengers are permitted to walk from one coach to another without danger.
Investigate Tragedy.
Chief Coroner Dr. W. T. Shirreff, Sergeant R. P. Labelle. of the Provincial Police, and Investigator B. B. Harris, of C.N.R.. police, went to the scene to investigate, and the body was then removed, to the parlors of Hulse and Playfair, Limited. 315 McLeod street.
A post-mortem was performed on Sunday, and an inquest was opened by Dr. Shirreff this morning and adjourned until Friday at 8 p.m. at the Court House.
Mrs. Stracey was born in England, and in 1914 she married William Stracey, who predeceased her in 1927. Following her husband's death she became employed with the C.N.R.. and was stenographer in the CNR. treasury, head office, Montreal.
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Ottawa Citizen  8 July 1940

Montreal Woman Killed In Falling From Fast Train
Mrs. Nellie Stracey, Aged 52, Stepped Out of Rear Door of Last Car. Was Coming to Ottawa.
Falling off the rear platform of a fast-moving train near Hawthorne on Saturday night, Mrs. Nellie Stracey, age 52 years, of 7 Park Place, Westmount, Que., a  C.N.R. employe in Montreal, was instantly killed. She was coming to Ottawa to spend the week-end with friends. The body was taken to Hulse and Playfair Ltd., 315 McLeod street, where an inquest was opened by Dr. W. T. Shirreff, chief coroner, at 8.45 this morning and adjourned until Friday at 8 p.m. at the court house. A post mortem was conducted by Dr. T. R. Little, pathologist at the Civic hospital.
Mrs. Stracey was a passenger on the Montreal-Ottawa train due at Union Station at 10.40 p.m. Saturday. The train was in charge of H H. Brown, conductor, and George Burgess, brakeman.
The accident occurred a short distance west of Hawthorne station, about 5 miles from Ottawa. Mrs. Straeey, who was unaccompanied, went to the washroom in the last coach. It is believed that she lost her direction when she started to get back to her seat. Instead of walking back in the coach, she stepped out of the rear door and fell to the tracks. The brakeman saw the woman go towards the door and made an effort to stop her but he was too late.
Train Stopped at Once.
The train stopped immediately. The lifeless body was found in the ditch alongside the track. The woman passenger had died from severe head injuries, numerous bruises and shock. One of the train crew was left in charge of the body and the train proceeded to Ottawa.
B. B. Harris, C.N.R. investigator, was notified. He left immediately for Hawthorne as did Coroner Shirreff. Sergeant R. P. Labelle, of the Ontario Provincial Police, joined the investigation. The body was brought to Ottawa in the Hulse and Playfair ambulance. Relatives in Montreal were notified by company officials.
Investigators believe that the unfortunate woman did not know that the coach she was in was the last one on the train and that darkness prevented her from noticing her error before it was too late.
The body was taken to Montreal today. The funeral service will be held on Tuesday at 2 p.m. at the William Wray funeral chapel.

Ottawa Journal 13 July 1940

Find Woman Met Accidental Death
A verdict of accidental death was returned by the jury at the inquest into the death of Mrs. Nellie Stracey, of Montreal held Friday evening in the- Court House. Cerebral haemorrhage and fracture caused by a fall from the rear coach of CNR train No. 1 at Stanley's Crossing near Hawthorne last Saturday night, was the cause of death.
Conductor Herbert. Brown, in giving evidence said the last car was just an ordinary coach and had no bar or railing on the back. The back door was always left open so the flagman could signal the engineer.
Mr. Burgess, a brakeman on the train said he had seen Mrs. Stracey open the rear door, apparently in the belief there was another car back of it. He rushed to warn her but on reaching the door discovered she had, fallen from the platform.
Witnesses who were questioned by Crown Attorney Raoul Mercier. K.C.. were Dr. Thomas R. Little; who performed the post-mortem; Sergeant R. P. Labelle; Brenton B. Harris, special investigator for the CNR.; Miss Jean Bleach, Montreal; Eileen Stracey, Montreal; Brakemen George T. Burgess and Henry Dolman and Conductor Herbert Brown.
Dr. W.T. Shirreff, chief coroner, was in charge of the inquest.

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