Canadian Transport Sourcebook

[ Home | All Works | List of Authors | By Date | Contact ]
Canadian Transport Sourcebook > All works> Miscellaneous texts > The Georgetown Bridge Accident

The Georgetown Bridge Accident.

The accident of the Georgetown bridge on Wednesday, caused most painful excitement in the neighbourhood, and hundreds of persons flocked to the bridge to view the scene of the accident and its awful effects. The cars which had fallen from the bridge were smashed into the most minute fragments by the fearful fall, and hardly a vestige that remained would have shown the nature of the article in which the material had been employed. An affecting incident connected with the accident is related by those who first reached the scene after the fall of the cars. The bodies of the two brakesmen, Crookham and Waldie, were found locked in a close embrace, the arms of each being clasped around the other—showing that in the dreadful moment which intervened between the toppling over of the cars and their fall off the bridge the unfortunate men sought each other for mutual assistance and support. The wife of Crookham, with her young infant, went up to Georgetown on Wednesday afternoon, and on seeing the lifeless body of her husband gave way to violent transports of grief. The scene was a most affecting one, and much sympathy was manifested for the poor woman.

The inquest upon the bodies of the conductor and the brakesmen was concluded at Georgetown at twelve o'clock on Thursday night. The jury returned the following verdict:

The Coroner's jury summoned to enquire into the cause of the death of Robert Kennedy, conductor, and James Waddie and Richard Crookham, brakesmen on the Grand Trunk Railway, find that the said deceased parties came to their death by falling, with two cars which ran off the track and fell off the bridge of the said railway, which crosses the river Credit, on the morning of Tuesday, the 9th day of February instant, which accident appears to have been caused by the breaking of an axle. It also appears to the jurors that the train might have been stopped in time to avoid the accident if the bell-cord had been adjusted as required by the Company's regulations, which duty, it appears, was unfortunately neglected. Again, the jury regret to find that brakesmen generally on the Grand Trunk Railway, are in the habit of neglecting to comply with the regulation which requires that one brakesman should always be on the top of the cars of every freight train while in motion.

The jury would respectfully recommend that the Company would reduce the rate of speed at which they now allow trains to pass over the bridge crossing the river Credit.


Another Accident on the Grand Trunk West.—Another accident occurred on the Grand Trunk west about three miles west of Berlin, which was very nearly attended with as fatal consequences as the one on the day previous. It appears that a freight train coming from the west, and which arrived at Petersburg shortly after daybreak, ran off the track between that station and Berlin, in consequence of a broken rail. Several of the hind cars were upset, and the "caboose," in which were the conductor, Mr. John McCarthy, and two brakesmen, was precipitated down a small embankment. They were very severely bruised, but judging from the shattered condition of the car, it appears almost a miracle that the unfortunate men were not killed.—Leader.

[Public Domain] Copyright/Licence: This work was first published in 1964 or earlier, and the author of the work was anonymous. To the best of my knowledge, the author of the work was unknown at the end of the year 50 years after the work was published, meaning that this work would be in the public domain in Canada, per section 6.2 of the Copyright Act. Note also this link. See disclaimers.