From the Ottawa Citizen 19 February 1968.|
Train hits auto
Gatineau couple in narrow escape
A Gatineau couple's split second escape from being run over by a train Saturday afternoon has police investigating the possibility that signals failed to work properly.
"The signals weren't working," said Julien Gauthier, 39. of 572 Main St., Gatineau. His small. German-made station wagon was ripped apart by a Montreal-bound CPR passenger train.
He and his wife Agnes, about 36, were treated for shock and allowed to go home.
Blowing snow obscured visibility when the acccident occurred about 3.15 p.m. Saturday.
Mr. Gauthier said his station wagon was upon the level crossing when he noticed the train approach.
About one and a half feet of snow was on the crossing and "the wheels were spinning in it."
"There was nothing to do but jump out at the last second." said Mr. Gauthier. "The car bounced right over, or around, my wife. It's a miracle she wasn't crushed."
"They were very lucky," said Gatineau police.
The mangled vehicle, its engine torn out, was dragged about 100 feet. The train stopped about 500 feet down the track and backed up.
The car was going north on Montee Paiment as the Gauthiers returned from shopping.
Police said the train sounded its whistle as it approached the crossing. Mr. Gauthier could not make it across in time.
Witnesses' accounts varied somewhat in their statements about signal lights, police said. A Canadian Pacific Railway spokesman said a report would be made in a day or two. but that any signal lights there would have been working.
Possibly the lights were slow coming on, said police or Mr. Gauthier did not notice them in time, visibility being limited to about 200 feet by blowing snow.
Police checked the signal lights about 9 p.m. Saturday and found them working satisfactorily.
Investigation was by Constable Roger Aubry of the Gatineau Police Department.