Fatal Collision Near Sand Point.
The "Soo" Express Trains Crash into One Another at Five o'Clock on a Bitter Winter's Morning.
Fourteen Killed - Twenty Injured.
Engineer Dudley Disobeyed Orders - Engineer Jackson Killed at his Post.
The morning was a bitterly cold one—the thermometer being 20 below zero and the wind blowing sharply from off the lake. The passengers in the first-class cars and Pullmans escaped with bruises and the shock of the sudden jolt. And besides as the steam was cut off from the cars, those who remained in them suffered from the cold. The spot is isolated and there were no number of houses in which to take refuge. A few of the passengers walked to Sand Point. Wrecking trains were sent from Carleton Place and Chalk River. The work of clearing the track was slow. Engines and cars in their fierce embrace kept to the rails. It was nine o'clock at night before the body of Engineer Jackson was released from between his tender and locomotive. Father Paradis says that the Jackson's pluck in sticking to his post and seeking to slow down the train, saved the lives of his passengers.
It was noted as a strange coincidence that the locomotives were numbered 835 and 836. Railway men familiar with their history said that they were sister engines, built in the same shops at the same time, and going forth to work over many different runs, had met again in this fatal embrace.
Mail-bags, newspapers in profusion and damaged freight was strewn alongside the track. There were $800 worth of eggs in one consignment. Many of them had been smashed, and the balance were spoiled by the frost.
Although the track was not cleared for many hours, passenger traffic was not for long impeded. The C.P.R. sent its express trains from Arnprior to Renfrew over the Canada Atlantic tracks.
Dr. Cranston, of Arnprior, was summoned as coroner. The body of the young news agent McMullen was removed to Arnprior, and a jury there empanelled.
Conductor Nidd, of the west-bound express, admitted to the newspapers that their orders had been definite to cross at Sand Point. He did not know, however, with the frost-covered windows of the cars that they had passed the station. He admits his share of the responsibility; but the most of the blame must apparently rest upon engineer Dudley, who, however, would not make any statement to the papers.
The shock of the collision pitched Engineer Dudley out of his cab; and he escaped with a broken arm. To some of the spectators he expressed the wish that he had been killed.
There was some indignation in Renfrew when the train carrying the Railway Company's lawyers to the wreck—to make quick and cheap settlements with the wounded victims—refused to take any helpers down to the scene. Even the brother of the wounded mail clerk Beach was refused passage.
The man thought to be Pouliotte turns out to be Geo. Paquette, of Maniwaki.
Twenty others were injured more or less seriously. These were all either trainmen or occupants of the colonist car.
Thursday's Citizen says that there is no hope for the recovery of McCall and little for E. D. Larose.
Photographer Handford, of Renfrew, was one of the visitors to the wreck. He secured views which will be reproduced in some of the daily papers. He is endeavoring to arrange for the use of a lantern, and will probably throw a large picture of the locked engines on his show window on Friday evening of this week.