Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1956, April 2 - Crossing Accident near Cobden, CPR Chalk River sub., one fatality, one injury

From the Ottawa Citizen 2 April 1956

Girl, 15 Victim Of Train
PEMBROKE (Staff) A 15-year-old girl was instantly killed and her 18- year-old brother is in hospital at Renfrew following a level-crossing crash about 14 miles east of here this morning.
High School Student
Phyllis Behm, RR 3, Cobden, died when the car in which she was a passenger was struck by an east-bound CPR train at a crossing near her home. She was a Cobden high school student.
Her brother, David Behm, 19. driver of the car, was taken to Renfrew by train crew immediately following the accident.
His condition is serious. Hospital authorities said he is in deep shock and suffering undetermined injuries. They are the children of Mr. and Mrs. Henry Behm, who live on the Stephen Hill Farm in Westmeath Township.
The accident happened at 8.26 a.m. when Behm's car, proceeding south on a township road, was struck by the train enroute from Chalk River to Ottawa.
David Behm was driving his sister to work at a nearby farm when the tragedy occurred. The train struck the right rear fender of the car and threw the vehicle for a distance of 65 feet.
Thrown From Car
Both occupants were thrown from the car by the impact. The driver was found close to the vehicle while the body of the victim was about 123 feet from the crossing. The car, a 1948 sedan, was wrecked.
The scene of the crash was a few hundred yards, from the family home and was on a township road which intersects the railroad at right angles. A warning sign is at the site but there are no "wig-wag" signals.
Coroner Dr. T. P. Dodd, Pembroke, was called to the scene and had the body removed to the Malcolm and Deavitt Funeral Home. A post-mortem examination and an inquest are considered likely
 Dr. J. E. Ritchie of Cobden treated the injured youth aboard the train.
Police investigation is being conducted by Sgt. Joseph Hanson. Cpl. Harold Peever and Constable John Cooper, provincial police, Pembroke

From the Ottawa Citizen 1 May 1956

Train Crew Absolved In Cobden Death
COBDEN (Staff) A coroner's Jury here last night at the inquest into the April 2 train-car accident that claimed the life of 13-year-old Phyllis Hehm of RR 3, Cobden, absolved the train crew of any negligence and found the tragedy was caused by failure of the car driver to see the train approaching.
The five-man jury deliberated only 10 minutes before bringing in the decision.
The young girl died instantly

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Updated 12 November 2019