The Sand Point Wreck.
The inquest to investigate the cause of the Sand Point collision was held in Arnprior, and below we give the evidence of Conductor Nidd, who was the chief witness:
Conductor James Nidd testified as follows: Was conductor of No. 7 up train on morning of 9th inst.: Wm. McMullen was news-agent on that train; have seen body at Undertaker Hubbel's and recognize it as that of McMullen; he was killed in the wreck about one and a half miles west of Sand Point; have my orders (produces them) "Train order No. 6 for running train No. 7 on Feb. 9th, 1904. No. 7, Eng. 836, will meet Eng. 853 at Sand Point:" engineer and operator had similar copies; engineer's name of train No. 7 was John Dudley; received no further orders; read them to brakeman; got order at Ottawa; got on baggage car between baggage car and second class car at Arnprior and started to check my train back towards the sleeper, the rear car; in the first car I met one man whom I was doubtful as to whether he had a ticket or not; when asked for ticket he went down into his pockets but could not find it; said he got his ticket at Ottawa for Gordon Creek; this took from three to four minutes; I proceeded from that car into the next second class car, and from there into the first class and from there into the sleeper, the rear car; I turned from sleeper back into the first class, sat down, took out all my tickets and checked them over to find out if this man whom I met in the first car held a ticket from Ottawa to Gordon Creek or not, which I then found he did have; I gathered all my tickets, placed them in my pocket, took my watch out and thought we must be near Sand Point; I hadn't taken more than one or two steps towards the door at the west end of the car to see where we were, when we collided at that moment; the time was 4:53 a.m.; did not notice Braeside; did not hear the whistle; could not tell at what speed train was going; left Arnprior at 4:40, struck at 4:53; it was very foggy and very cold that morning; all the lights at Sand Point shown green; if I had seen lights would surely have stopped; was in the act of taking precautions when we struck; when no one is on duty at station green lights always shown; where man is on duty a cross board is always turned which shows red light; when such is the case the responsibility rests with the engineer and conductor; Sand Point is not the regular crossing point; No. 7 was one hour and twenty-two minutes late that morning; the east bound train two hours late; a green light indicates "all right," a red light "danger"; I gave the engineer his order at Ottawa and had no talk with him after that; it was an official order; have had several meetings at Sand Point during the past 10 or 12 years; the company had a night operator off and on; if night operator had been there it is possible it would have prevented the accident; as to the green lights shown at the Sand Point station the information was given me by baggageman Booth and the brakeman, who returned immediately and found all the lights burning.—Watchman.
The inquest was adjourned until Friday evening, Feb. 19th.