Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1956, March 29 - Crossing Accident at Perth on the CPR Belleville sub., two fatalities

From the Ottawa Citizen 31 March 1956

Two Elderly Men Die As Train Hits Truck At Perth's Crossing
PERTH (Special) Two elderly men died instantly Thursday afternoon when a CPR passenger train struck a half-ton truck in which they were riding at a crossing near here. A warning from nearby railway workmen to the two men in the truck went unnoticed
Dead are: Samuel S. McCann, 72, of Portland, Ont., the driver of the truck, and Herbert Patterson, 70, of Perth.
The train, eastbound from Toronto to Montreal, struck the truck at a level crossing on the Third Line of Bathurst near the Lanark County Home on the outskirts of Perth. The gravel road was covered with about three inches of new-fallen snow.
Stationary Sign
The crossing, marked with a stationary sign, is on a straight stretch of road with no upgrade. Visibility is good with few obstructions.
The passenger train was due at Perth at 3.20 and the train crew was engineer, S. Nelson, fireman, J. C. Neil, and conductor, George Youngiliss all of Smiths Falls.
Together with his son, Douglas, Mr McCann brought a nu ber of calves to the McLean sales barn, and later Mr. McCann started to Perth to do some shopping, while his son remained at the sales barn. Mr. Patterson accompanied Mr. McCann on his return to Perth, and the scene of the accident was about 300 yards from the sales barn.
Didn't Hear Whistle
The railroad and highway run at about a 45-degree angle, and the driver evidently did not hear the train whistle for the crossing nor hear the train coming from behind. A gang of section men standing beside the track waved a warning to the aprproaching truck, but evidently their signals were not noticed.
The truck had just reached the center of the track where it was struck broadside by the engine. The truck was carried about 250 feet down the track, where the truck rolled into an eight-foot ditch, resting on its four wheels. The left fender was wedged into the front of the engine and was removed with much difficulty.

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From the Ottawa Citizen 13 April 1956

Accidental Verdict In Double Death
PERTH, Ont (Special) At an inquest held here last night inquiring into the deaths of Herbert Lawrence Patterson, Perth, and Samuel Seymour Me Cann, Portland, RR 1, who were killed on Thursday, March 29 when the truck in which they were driving was struck by a CPR passenger train about 3.15 p.m. the jury brought in a verdict of accidental death with no blame or negligence attached to the CPR or their employes.
The jury recommended that the CPR install signal lights at this crossing and aiso remove the brush on the east bound side of the railroad right of way.

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Updated 12 November 2019