|From the Ottawa Citizen 16 June 1965|
Train kills boy, aged 10
A 10-year-old boy running away from a barbershop after a haircut was struck and killed by a Canadian Pacific Railway passenger train Tuesday at 5 p.m.
Jimmy Oliver, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jim Oliver of 2648 Regina Ave. was killed instantly when bit by a 50-mph westbound train, just west of the Britannia Road crossing.
Just befire the accident he had run from a barber shop on Howe Street which parallels the railway line.
Ran out earlier
The youngster had bolted from the same shop shortly before while waiting to get his hair cut but had returned and allowed the job to be done.
He had an infection on the back of his neck and apparently feared it would be injured during the hair cutting process.
Engineer of the train in-volved Verner Dier, 45, of 967 ; Wellington St., said he didn't see the boy until he was 10 feet away from the engine.
It was the fourth accident Mr. Dier has been involved in since last November while engineer on a train.
The Scott Street line and its continuation out to Britannia has been the scene of numerous fatalities since its installation and has one of the highest railroad fatality rates in the country.
A coroner's jury earlier this year recommended that page wire fencing be installed along railway tracks inside the city.
There was no protective fencing to prevent Jimmy Oliver from crossing the tracks where he met his death.
The boy's body was carried 140 feet by the engine's cow catcher before it fell off into the north ditch beside the tracks.
Engineer Dier told police that the train's whistle was going at the time of the impact.
Ottawa Citizen 18 August 1965
Kendall sparks inquest 'crusade' for crossing safety
An angry coroner said Tuesday night he would fight for his jury's recommendations in Toronto, if necessary, to lessen the danger from rail traffic through Ottawa.
Dr. W. T. Kendall made his pledge as he called for strong recommendations following an inquest into the death of James Oliver, 10, son of Mrs. Rita Oliver, of 2648 Regina St.
The jury found that the boy died instantly when a Canadian Pacific Railway train struck him just west of Britannia Road last June 15.
The jury's recommendations stated:
The railway company should erect fences "to protect juveniles from having access to the rights of way for at least 600 yards in either direction from a level crossing."
The company should maintain fences as much as it does tracks, also the property within rights of way next to level crossings. This would "insure that existing fences are erected and in good condition and that all trees, bushes or other obstructions in the vicinity of such crossings are removed."
Since the railway speed limit in Hull is 15 miles per hour, "the board of transport commissioners or other responsible bodies should be urged to reduce the speed of all trains operating in Ottawa to 15 miles per hour in the interests of public safety."
Agencies owning land next to railway rights of way-should "be urged with the railway companies themselves to assume their proper responsibility and define their areas of jurisdiction so that fence construction and maintenance would result in adequate protection to citizens."
Dr. Kendall congratulated the jury for the recommendations returned after 1 1/2 hours of deliberation.
'Shifting of responsibility'
"For over 25 years," he had told the jury "there has been considerable shifting of responsibility along this stretch of railway, and not only concerning fencing and road crossings.
"The parties concerned always resolve their arguments. They usually agree costs are fantastic, and nothing is done."
He said the CPR runs through "almost half of Ottawa at a more or less unrestricted speed."
Proper fences are lacking in many places, and the blame must go to the city, National Capita! Commission, public works department and board of transport commissioners, as well as railways, stated Dr. Kendall.
"It is a mumble-jumble, continually," he said, "and we just close our eyes to it and let it go."
"The fact that the federal government is supposed to be moving that main line means nothing to me," he said. "They've been doing that for 25 years."
He said he would take the jury's recommendations to authorities in Toronto.
"If hull - a whistle - stop compared to Ottawa can have a 15 mile per hour speed limit," said Dr. Kendall, "then I see no reason why the Board of Transport Commissioners can't lower the speed limit in Canada's capital,"
Following the inquest, a railway spokesman commented that the law requires fences along tracks only to keep cattle off, not to protect children. "A fence doesn't stop them," he said.
He added that Hull has a lower rail speed limit because of the great number of road crossings, and trains don't give warning whistles there as they do in Ottawa.
Evidence during the inquest was that James Oliver had approached the railway track from a shopping centre on the northwest corner of the track and Britannia Road.
Witnesses said a wire fence on the north side of the track had been trampled down for years and children and adults often took short cuts across the track.
Kirk Martineau, of Carleton Place, CPR assistant road-master, testified there was no fence along the south side of the track there.
"This has been the responsibility of the city since Ottawa took over the Electric Railway company," he said. "There hasn't been a fence on the south side in over 10 years."
The CPR fence, he said, had been in good repair .after regular fall maintenance there last year, but that construction of the shopping centre through the winter had helped beat it down.
Unable to stop
Engineer Vernon Dier said the diesel unit and five coaches were 10 to 15 feet from the boy when he saw him. He threw on the emergency brake, but the train did not stop for 1,100 feet.
Cst. Gerald Egan said the right front corner of the train struck the boy, throwing him for 140 feet.
Members of the jury were G. W. Greene, 556 Coronation St.; T. W. O'Brien, 528 Fenhill St.; Harvey Harris, 1014 Fisher Ave.; Gordon Fyfe, 1327 Ave. "R", and Andre J. La-pointe, 1323 Ave. "S".