Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1957, December 17 - Crossing collision, Smyth Road, CNR Beachburg sub, one fatality two injured

Ottawa Citizen 17 December 1957

CNR Diesel Smashes Truck, Driver Is Critically Inhjured.
A 16-car CNR diesel freight train sliced into an 18-ton pre-mix concrete truck at a Smyth Road level crossing this morning, critically injuring the driver and also sending the two occupants of the train locomotive to hospital. Total damage was estimated at upwards of $20,000.
Dennis Guindon, 26, of 72 Sabourin Street, Gatineau Mills, is unconscious in the Civic Hospital, where a team of surgeons is fighting to save his life. He suffered grave head and facial injuries. Guindon was driving the concrete-laden truck owned by Ottawa Pre-Mixed Concrete Ltd.
David Drew, 23, of 33 Glencairn Avenue, yard helper on the train, was released from the General Hospital following treatment for head cuts and bruises, while Edgar Olive, 41, of 214 Metcalfe Street, engineer, is still undergoing X-ray examination to determine the extent of his injuries.
Three other occupants of the cab, Charles Lee, of 552 Churchill Avenue, fireman, T. B. Miller, 646 Coronation Drive, and J. H. Turner, 523 Bathurst Avenue, escaped without injury.
They had a close brush with death in a harrowing experience. An official of the CNR said that he had never seen a yard engine with such extensive damage following a level crossing accident.
"I'll never know how we got out of that one," stated Drew, while undergoing hospital treatment.
Scene of the 8 a.m. crash was a level crossing that runs parallel to a CPR right-of-way on Smyth Road, just north of Riverside Drive. Smyth Road was designated a through truck route just a few months ago. The crossing was bathed in bright sunlight at the time.
It was the third major train-vehicle crash to occur at the crossing in the past two years.
At nearby Billings Avenue there was a fatal level crossing accident in the early fall.
Yard Transfer Train
The eastbound train a yard transfer carrying freight from the Walkley Road terminal to the downtown central depot ground to a halt some 1,100 feet from the scene of the crash.
The truck, laden with some 10-ton of liquid concrete, was northbound on Smyth Road at the time, proceeding from its Russell Road plant to a construction job in the northerly section of the city.
So heavy was the impact that the cab of the truck ended up more than 100 feet along the right of way to the east and north of the crossing. The heavy bulb-shaped tank carrying the concrete was thrown some 35 feet from the main section of the truck.
The front of the diesel locomotive was twisted out of shape. The engineer's side of the cab was so dented that bystanders wondered how any of the five men inside it had ever got out.
Molten concrete splattered the home and car of Thomas Davey, located nearly 100 yards to the north of the crash.
"We were eating breakfast when we heard this loud explosion," recalled Mrs. Davey, "and we looked outside. We thought somebody must have been dead."
Ambulance Close By
An Exclusive Ambulance, which was travelling just behind the pre-mix concrete truck, was on the scene seconds after the crash. Mr. Davey assisted the ambulance driver in placing the injured truck driver in the ambulance for conveyance to hospital. Police took the other injured to hospital. Also helping the injured was Patrick Flannery of 202 Cluny Avenue.
The CNR and CPR crossings are on a straight stretch of Smyth Road and are marked by "railway crossing" signs and yellow Department of Highways railway markers. The road was paved during the summer.

Caption to Photos (shows CNR 8051)
This is what the CNR level crossing just north of Riverside Drive on the Smyth Road looked like this morning after a train-truck crash that critically injured the truck driver and sent two others to hospital. At left, onlookers view the bulb-shaped body of an 18-ton Ottawa Pre-Mixed Concrete Ltd. truck after it was thrown some 35 feet by the violent impact. Dennis Guindon, 26, of 72 Sabourin Street, Gatineau, the operator of the truck, is in critical condition in the General Hospital. Only two of the five occupants of the diesel locomotive went to hospital for treatment. But a glimpse of the battered cab, at right, graphically points up what a close brush with death they had. Newton Associates Photos

Ottawa Journal 17 December 1957

Cement Truck Hits Train - 3 Injured

A Gatineau Mills man was critically injured when his 18-ton concrete mix truck was torn apart by a CNR freight train at the Smyth Road crossing today.
Truck driver Denis Guindon, 26, of 72 Sabourin street, Gatineau mills, is "deeply unconscious" with severe head injuries at Civic hospital.
Two Trainmen Injured.
Also injured - not seriously - were: Edgar D. Olive, 41, engineer of the northbound diesel- powered train, and David Drew, 23, of 33 Glencairn avenue, head-end brakeman. The trainman were taken to General hospital, Mr. Olive with injuries to the right leg and Mr. Drew with a cut forehead.
The truck driver was picked up by Exclusive Ambulance attendants and rushed to hospital minutes after the accident. The ambulance was returning from a minor accident at Cyrville where its services were not needed. Attendants said they arrived at the crossing before the train came to a halt a quarter-mile north of the crossing.
The severely-injured truck driver was found by ambulance attendants 200 yards north of his wrecked truck. He was lying in a pool of water.
Cab of the diesel switcher pulling 16 cars of freight and express from Walkley yards into Union Station was practically demolished.
Front trucks of the locomotive were derailed and gouged out ties when it plowed into the center of the westbound truck shortly after 8 a.m.
Truck Torn Apart.
The loaded concrete truck was ripped in two. Cab and frame were dragged 100 feet north of the crossing. The mixing tank was tossed 25 feet further north.
The truck is owned by Ottawa Pre - Mixed Concrete Limited.
It was the third accident at that crossing this year.
The first was April 5. Five persons have died at two other Ottawa crossings this year four at the CNR Russell road crossing, one at the Billings avenue crossing.
A witness, Russell Burt of 834 Russell road, travelling north ahead of the truck, told Constable Wilmar Dowd he caught a glimpse of the crash in his rear view mirror.
"I glanced in my mirror after crossing the tracks", Mr. Burt told the officer. "I saw the truck, then the train. Then the truck just seemed to disappear."
The train was hauled back to Walkley yards about an hour later by a steam locomotive. The diesel engine was left to be moved later by an auxiliary wrecker.
A big mobile crane was pressed into service to move the truck wreckage.

Caption to picture
Two trainmen were injured in this diesel cab today after hitting an 18-ton cement truck at the Smyth Toad crossing. It was pulling 16 cars of freight and was a quarter-mile past the impact point before stopping.

Ottawa Journal 18 December 1957

Truck Driver Hit by Train Dies in Civic

Truck driver Denis Guindon, 27, of Gatineau Mills, died in Civic Hospital at 5 a.m. today from injuries received Tuesday in the crash of his concrete mix truck and a CNR freight train at the Smyth road crossing.
It was the 29th death this year resulting from traffic accidents in the city.
An autopsy was ordered to establish the exact cause of death. Mr. Guindon remained unconscious throughout Tuesday. He failed to respond after emergency treatment for extensive head injuries.
He had been thrown 200 feet from his wrecked truck when the diesel engine pulling loaded cars plowed into the vehicle. Two trainmen were injured, not seriously in the shattered diesel cab. The truck was virtually demolished.
Mr. Guindon was born at Buckingham, Que., son of Alexandra Guindon and his wife, the late Victoria LeBlanc. He was educated at St Michael's college.

Other non-railway details omitted.

Ottawa Citizen 18 December 1957

Obituary of Denis Guindon

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