Details of Railway Accidents in the Ottawa Area

1968, March 26 - Crossing collision at Walkley Road with Canadian Pacific "The Canadian", one dead, one injured

From the Ottawa Citizen 27 March 1968.

Photo Auto hurtled off bridge
Car rests on shoreline after plunging 20 feet from bridge
Girl dies, mother injured when car struck by train
By Dave Smithers Cltlien staff writer
A 2 1/2 year-old Ottawa girl was killed and her mother injured late Tuesday afternoon when their car was struck by a passenger train at a Walkley Road level crossing.
Dead is Andrea Louise Traversy, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. R. W. Traversy of 2636 Colman St. There are five other children in the family.
Her mother. Mr. Netta Traversy, 44. driver of the car, is in good condition at Riverside Hospital with shoulder injuries.
Short skid marks led to the crossing between McCarthy Road and Riverside Drive on Walkley Road where the eastbound car was hit by the southbound Canadian Pacific Railway's Canadian about 4.40 p.m.
The car was dragged 675 feet by the train. The Canadian was just 15 minutes out of Ottawa station when the accident occurred.
The child was thrown from the car on impact. Her body was found 100 feet from the crossing in the ditch beside the tracks. Mrs. Traversy was still in the car when police arrived.
The CPR train was driven by Andre Labre, 55. of 25 Wright St.. Hull, who said that he was travelling at 40 miles an hour in 45 m.p.h. zone.
CPR officials, who arrived shortly after the accident, said the red signal lights at the crossing were in working order.
The lights were activated when another train came through the crossing shortly after 5.30 p.m. after the car wreckage had been cleared and the Canadian moved.
An eye-witness, Ian Roy, 13. of 655 Farmington Ave., said he was walking home along the side of the tracks when he "heard an awful crash."
"I turned around and saw the car being shoved along the tracks in front of the train." he said.
He estimated the speed of the train at 45 m.p.h. when he first saw it. Area residents said that was an average speed for trains at that crossing.
Other witnesses said it appeared the car stalled on the tracks as the train approached.
The accident held up homeward bound traffic for almost an hour.

Ottawa Citizen 21 June 1968

Jury rules death car had mechanical defects.
A car-train accident March 26 on the controversial Beachburg Line in which a little girl was killed has prompted a plea for regular mechanical inspection of rented automobiles.
A coroner's jury made the recommendation after hearing evidence that a rented car driven by Mrs. Raymond Traversy, 2636 Coleman Ave., stalled on railway  tracks crossing Walkley Road and was struck by a southbound train.
Andrea Traversy, 2, was thrown from the car by the impact and died instantly of multiple injuries. Witnesses said Mrs. Traversy appeared to have trouble with the car in a shopping centre near the railway crossing several minutes before the 4.30 p.m.accident.
David Cox of 995 Walkley Rd. said he was standing in the Riverside Shopping Centre when he first noticed the woman.
Troubles noted
"She seemed to be having trouble starting the car and then, when she did get it going, she couldn't get it up a small hill. She stalled it in the intersection, too."
Andre Labre of 25 Wright St.,- Hull, engineer on the eight-car Canadian National . passenger train out of Ottawa, said he saw the car approaching the crossing as the train came- out of a curve.
"I saw the car coming slowly and stop right on the tracks," he said. "I put the emergency brake on and we hit it."
The train carried the car more than 800 feet down the tracks before coming to a stop. Mrs. Traversy was pulled from the wrecked car, by the train crew. Her child had been thrown from the vehicle on impact.
Raymond Traversy, father of the dead child, said he had leased the car from Argus Rent-A-Car, 300 Richmond Rd., and experienced some difficulty driving it.
"I had a little trouble getting used to the automatic stick shift on the floor," he said.
"Also, I noticed I had to put more pressure on the brakes than normal."
Police examined the car after the accident and found bald spots on the tires and evidence that the carburetor had been overhauled.
The jury ruled that the rented car was not in good mechanical condition and recommended that a law be enacted requiring mechanical inspection of rented cars before leasing.
It recommended reduction of the train's speed limit, now 45 miles per hour where the accident occurred, to 20 mph in city limits.

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Updated 5 April 2020