Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1955, July 31 - Crossing Accident at Gatineau, CPR Lachute sub., Five Fatalities

From the Ottawa Citizen 2 August 1955

Five Die In Gatineau's Worst Level Crossing Smash. Locomotive Hurls Car In Air Like Cardboard Box
In one of the worst level crossing tragedies on record in this area, five persons were killed near Gatlneau Sunday night when the North Shore CPR Montreal-Ottawa passenger train demolished an Ottawa taxi cab.
The Dead
Emile Leveille. 38. of 33 Murray Street, manager of the Victoria Hotel, 34 Murray.
Alexandre Lozier, 28-year-old driver with the Sandy Hill Taxi, who was driving the 1955 model sedan.
Joseph Tremblay, 30, of Lake St. John. Que.
Mrs. Roland Regimbald, 27, of 55 Booth Street. Hull.
Mrs. Lucien Normand, 43, of 43 Booth Street. Hull.
 All five of the victims died instantly in the crash which hurled the car a distance of 60 feet, and scattered all of the bodies along the right-of-way, save that of Mrs. Normand who was pinned In the wreckage.
The crossing where the multiple tragedy occurred is on the Talon Road, about 100 yards north of Highway No. 8, and approximately one mile west of Gatineau.
Into Path Of Train
The taxi, travelling west on Highway No. 8, had turned north into the Talon Road, and drove directly into the path of the speeding passenger train which was due in Ottawa at 10 p.m.
Donat Thomas and Roland Quesnel. whose homes are located just north of the open crossing, were eye-witnesses to the crash.
They told The Citizen that they saw and heard the train approaching the crossing just as they caught sight of the auto coming from towards the main highway. The locomotive's whistle was blowing loudly and the bell was ringing, both men said.
Thomas stated: "The car made no attempt to stop until it was right on the crossing, then I saw the front of the car sag as the driver jammed on his brakes. A second later the locomotive plowed into the car and it was thrown through the air like a big cardboard box.
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The engineer of the train was Charles Murphy, of 138 Breezehill Avenue, and the fireman was Arnold Pesrson, of 591 Churchill Avenue. The train was in charge of Conductor A. Fortin, of Montreal.
The engineer applied his brakes when he saw that an accident was inevitable, but the train could not be brought to a stop before it had travelled on a quarter of a mile. It left Montreal at 5.45 p.m. (D.S.T.) Sunday and was due to arrive at Union Station here at 10 p.m. It was delayed more than an hour due to the crash.
Inquest Opened
An Inquest was opened bv Coroner ..Dr. Jean Laurin at Emond's at 5 o'clock yesterday afternoon and was adjourned indefinitely pending completion of the police investigation.
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