|Monday, April 16, 1928||The Globe (Toronto)||Page 13|
Engineer is killed, passengers escape, in Bradford wreck.
Body of J. W. Brooks, Toronto, pinned beneath locomotive, recovered by rescue crew—Cause of derailment is not known.
Experts are sent to probe accident.
Special Despatch to The Globe.
Bradford, April 15.—J.W. Brooks of Toronto, engineer of the Canadian National Express, No. 4, from Winnipeg, was almost instantly killed when his engine left the rails in the station yard just south of the Bradford Station yesterday morning, at about 7.30. Travelling at an estimated speed of 20 miles an hour, the engine plunged into marshy ground at the side of the track and, in overturning, pinned the engineer beneath it. Fireman Frank Green, also of Toronto, was thrown clear of the cab when the engine overturned, and escaped with minor injuries. None of the three passenger coaches overturned and the 125 passengers aboard all escaped injury. In all, nine cars were derailed.
Auxiliaries with two cranes were at work on the engine since late yesterday morning, and shortly after 4 today were able to extricated the mogul from the marsh, and free the body of the engineer from the wreck.
Steel cars credited.
That the accident was not of a more serious nature has been attributed to the steel construction of the cars, which were enabled to withstand the tremendous pressure from the rear coaches when the train came to the sudden stop.
At a late hour Sunday night Toronto officials of the Canadian National Railway were unable to shed any light on the cause of the derailment. Four experts were despatched to the scene of the accident by automobile shortly after it had been reported. Up to the present their findings had not been reported to the Toronto departments.
No trace of Washout.
A theory that the track might have been washed out was discountenanced when an examination of the right of way at this point revealed no trace of a water-weakened roadbed it was account of washouts that the train was being operated on this line, as the old division on the Canadian Northern line had been rendered insecure by the spring floods. No. 4 had been using the line through Barrie and Allandale from Washago for about a week, and no washouts or other trouble on this line had been reported since the Western passenger express trains had been using it.
It is believed that a broken wheel or rail might have caused it, or that a section of track might have spread when the engine came on it, especially as the accident occurred at a curve.
Aid rushed to wreck.
A special train with doctors and nurses left Allandale within a short time, and auxillaries also were rushed from that point and Toronto.
Brooks was one of the youngest engineers on the road. He was 26 years of age, and had secured his engineer's certificate in 1922. He had come to Toronto about a year ago, previously working on the Bancroft and Ottawa division. He was a "spare" engineer connected with the Mimico section. Born in Depot Harbor, he is survived by a widow, formerly Miss Mabel La Vergne, and four children, Walter, aged 7; Evelyn, aged 6; Francis, aged 4, and Ruth, aged 2. He was a member of Bancroft A.F. & A.M., and of Brancroft Anglican Church.