Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1952, June 11 - Crossing Accident at Graham Bay,CNR, One Fatality

Fatality - The scene of the fatal truck-train collision at Graham Bay which this mocning claimed the life of 21-year old Cecil Woods. The truck is seen in the foreground at the point where it came to rest following impact With the train. Photo by Newton

Ottawa Citizen, 11 June 1952

Truck Crashes Train, Driver Dead
Vehicle Hurled Off Road
Graham Bay Scene Of Smash
A train-truck collision at Graham Bay, one half mile west of Ottawa, this morning claimed the life of 21-year-old Cecil Woods, of 139 Broad Street.
Woods, the driver and sole occupant of a truck owned by J. R. Brazeau, of 29 Stirling Avenue, was pronounced dead on arrival at the Civic Hospital by Coroner W. T. Kendall. The accident occurred about 9.11. The victim was rushed to hospital by the Exclusive Ambulance.
Truck Empty
The empty truck was heading south towards Graham Bay when it struck train No. 89 proceeding west to Pembroke. The 1951 International truck was thrown clear of the highway by some 15 feet and finished in an upright position next to the home of W. J. Saunders.
According to the conductor, Patrick A. Potter, of 560 MacLaren Street, the train was proceeding at a rate of about 35 miles-per-hour when it reached the level crossing and came into contact with the truck.
The three-car train had not stopped at the Graham Bay station but those nearby said the whistle had blown. There is no "wig-wag" at the crossing but a warning sign is clearly visible.
Provincials On Scene
Corporal Carl Johns, and Constables James Carr and Gordon Macdonnell, of the Ottawa detachment, Ontario Provincial Police, arrived on the scene shortly after the collision and carried out the investigation.
The train came to a halt about 150 yards down the track. It's only damage was a broken steam pipe on the locomotive. A new locomotive was brought from Ottawa and the train proceeded to Pembroke about 11 a.m.
One of the first to arrive at the scene of the collision was Thomas Cavanaugh of Ashton. who had just left the crossing and was moving uphill towards Ottawa when he passed the Woods truck. The driver waved at me, said Cavanaugh, and the next thing I knew he had struck the side of the train. "I must have come very close to it myself," he added.
According to W. J. Saunders, who witnessed the accident from the window of his house, the truck ran into the side of the engine on the engineer' side. "I tnought it was coming right Into the house." he said discribing (sic) how hard the four wheel vehicle had been hit
The driver was pinned against the windshield of the truck and was removed from the cab minutes before the arrival of the ambulance.
The truck received extensive damage to the engine and cab.
Reggie Coghlan of Britannia Heights, who was travelling in a mail car just behind the engine. said that the first warning he had of the collision was when he felt "a heavy bump."
Gilbert Orange, of 113 Harvey Street, was the train's engineer and . Harvey Scisson, Woodlawn, fireman. Both were convinced it was impossible to avert the collision as the truck was not seen until it was too late
On Valley Run
Canadian National Train No. 89 leaves Ottawa Union Station at 8.40 a.m. for the Ottawa Valley run. A large crowd gather-ed at the crossing shortly after the accident. Many tried to identify the victim.
Since the victim had been driving alone in the truck it was some time before he was identified
Also investigating the accident was B. B. Harris, chief investigator of the Canadian National Railways.

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Updated 6 October 2019