Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1957, July 25 - Crossing accident CPR. Merrickville., one fatality, one injury.
Quick action by train crew avoids a serious collision with a passenger train

Ottawa Citizen  25 July 1957

Man Killed When Auto Rams Train
SMITHS FALLS Staff) --A Toronto man died, his companion was critically injured and an alert head-end brakeman averted a possible second serious accident in a train-car crash at Merrickville, 12 miles east of Smiths Fall it 7.25 this morning.
Dead is George Eddy. 61, of 818 Ossington Avenue, Toronto, who died in Lannin Ambulance en route from Merrickville to St. Francis Hospital in Smiths Fails.
Critically injured is Lawrence Steele, 40, of Mountain Grove Village. 50 miles west of Smithi Falls on Highway 7. Mr. Steele, suffering severe head and chest injuries, was transferred to Ottawa Civic Hospital from St Francis.
The accident occurred on gravelled level crossing over double track just east of the Merrickville station. It was the first fatality here in 50 years although there is no wig wag signal.
Mr. Steele is believed to have been driving the 1953 model station-wagon when the accident happened.
He apparently tried desperately to brake it but the vehicle crashed into the side of the westbound freight. It spun around after the impact and came to rest upright, partly on the eastern set of tracks.
Head-end brakeman Richard Drew of Smiths Falls, aboard the west bound train involved in the crash, leaped from the train and raced up the tracks to flag down approaching east bound CPR passenger train No. 24.
It ground to a stop only a few feet from where the wrecked station wagon straddled the rails.
First on the scene was George Pitschke, 43, who was enroute to Smiths Falls with a load of milk. He saw the freight stop, an unusual occurrence, and investigated. "I saw only one man, and he was bleeding. All I could do was get a doctor called," he said.
Dr. A. M. Barr of Merrickville was summoned and ordered dead and injured removed to hospital.
Engineer John Deegan and conductor George Baxter, both of Smiths Falls, were in charge of the west bound freight. Conductor Jack Dawson and Engineer Harry Beckett, also of Smiths Falls, handled the east bound passenger.
Merrickville Constable Mathew Hayes investigated.

Return to Main Page of Railway Accidents

Updated 8 December 2019