Radial, HSR and CCL Accidents, 1925 to present and unknown
April 25, 1929 - Hamilton, Burlington & Wilcox
On the evening of April 25, 1929 at 8:10 PM, HSR #521 was hit by Stelco steam engine #11 as it was switching freight cars at the Irondale crossing. Crossing flagman William Fulton had given #521, under the charge of conductor S. Clark and motorman A. Clark, clearance to proceed after Stelco #11 had backed across the streetcar tracks. Stelco #11 under engineer Jack Reid and conductor Edgar Allen then started forward as HSR #521 was crossing. HSR #521 was hit in the centre, shattering windows and knocking over the streetcar. Passenger John Petrick was knocked unconscious and rushed to hospital, where he recovered. None of the other two dozen passengers or crew were injured.
December 28, 1929 - Hamilton Beach
Shortly before 1:30 PM on the afternoon of December 28, 1929, DP&T Hamilton Bus Lines bus Miss Beamsville running from Burlington to Hamilton was travelling south on Beach Blvd. As the bus approached station 9 a Tamblyn Drugs delivery truck pulled out into oncoming traffic to pass another truck parked on the side of the road. Bus driver Fred McDougall made a hard turn to the right to avoid a collision, but the truck crashed into the left-rear corner of the bus. Of the 21 passengers on board Marion Wilson and Mrs. Edwin Klainka suffered serious head injuries in the collision, while Hilda Rymal, Edwin Klainka and Newton Bardy suffered broken bones, and five others suffered minor injuries. All were rushed to hospital in Hamilton, but Marion Wilson died of her injuries en route. Truck driver Pringle Robson of Toronto suffered minor injuries and was arrested and charged with manslaughter. On April 4 1930 a Hamilton jury found him not guilty.
The smashed body of the Miss Beamsville on December 28, 1929. Photo courtesy of the December 30, 1929 Hamilton Spectator, pg 7.
September 10, 1943 - Aldershot
At 7 PM on the rainy night of September 10, 1943, a CCL White 706M bus running from Waterdown to Hamilton stalled on the Canadian National Railway tracks at the level crossing on Waterdown Rd in Aldershot. Less than a minute later CNR passenger train No. 5 bound for London from Toronto and travelling at approx. 100 km/hr crashed into the side of the bus, spliting it into three pieces. The rear of the bus was thrown about 60 metres, the front of the bus was dragged alongside the locomotive for several hundred meters before the train could stop, and the middle section was wedged into the front of locomotive CNR #5285. The spare wheel of the bus smashed into and shattered the wooden platform of nearby Aldershot station. Of the 14 people on the bus eleven were killed instantly, including driver Fred Smith. Some of the bodies were thrown out when the bus was hit, others were found still inside the wreckage. A 12th victim died in hospital in Hamilton several hours later. The train remained on the tracks, and none of the crew or passengers were injured. The jury in a coroner's inquest blamed Driver Smith for failing to take proper precautions on approaching the tracks. The jury recommended that improved crossing protections be added to the level crossing, and that all shrubs and trees be removed to improve visibility. At the time it was the worst bus disaster in Ontario's history. To add insult to injury, the wreckage of the bus was removed on the afternoon of September 11, loaded into a freight car and transported to Hamilton's Ferguson St yard. As it was being cut up for scrap the wreckage burst into flames, likely due to fuel or oil caught in the wreckage.
November 6, 1948 - Toronto
In one of the worst traffic accidents in Toronto history, CCL #1237 collided head on with Toronto PCC streetcar #4093 on Lakeshore Rd (now the westbound lanes of Lakeshore Blvd) just east of Ellis Ave at 1:20 am on the morning of November 6, 1948. The bus was chartered by the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders regimental pipe band for a reunion, and was returning to Hamilton from the Top Hat Club at Lakeshore and Parkside when the bus swerved to avoid a pedestrian and slid on wet pavement into the oncoming streetcar. Six bus passengers were killed and 29 injured, while the motorman and 23 passengers on the streetcar were injured. Among the dead was Pipe Major Frank Noble, who had lead the regiment in the Allied victory parade through Berlin in 1945. Bus driver Frank Lowe succumbed to his injuries on November 10, bringing the death toll to seven. TTC #4093 was rebuilt, but CCL #1237 was scrapped.
Investigators examine the mangled remains of CCL #1237 on November 6, 1948. Photo courtesy of the November 6, 1948 Toronto Star, pg 21.
June 24, 1950 - Hamilton, Burlington St east of Ottawa
Late in the afternoon of June 24, 1950, HSR #523 was hit by a freight car full of scrap iron that was being shunted at Dofasco. Motorman Reginald Carter misunderstood the hand signals of Yardmaster Fred Rolland and proceeded into the path of the freight car pushed by a locomotive driven by Allan Smith. On seeing the approaching train, Carter accelerated so that the impact would occur at the rear of the streetcar away from the passengers. The impact knocked HSR #523 off the rails, injuring Carter and five passengers. Due to the inflicted damage and the HSR's plans for abandonment of streetcar service, the streetcar was scrapped on the spot.
April 5, 1951 - Hamilton, Barton & Gage and Barton & Wellington
On the last day of regular streetcar service, two streetcars were involved in incidents. At 6:00 pm HSR #541 suffered damage when a short circuit set fire to the streetcar at the corner of Barton & Gage. The fire department reacted quickly, and the fire was put out with little damage. At 7:00 pm at Barton & Wellington, HSR #536 was in a collision with a car, but the streetcar suffered no damage. No passengers or employees were injured in either accident.
March 3, 1980 - Hamilton, John & Young
HSR #958 rear-ended HSR #962 at the corner of John St South and Young St on March 3, 1980. Driver Gord Wilson and 16 passengers were sent to hospital with minor injuries. Wilson stated that the brakes on HSR #958 were faulty, but later testing revealed no problems. Wilson was charged with dangerous driving.
January 17, 1984 - Hamilton, Mountain Transit Centre
On January 17, 1984 HSR #864 crashed into a support column inside the Mountain Transit Centre. The mechanic at the wheel was uninjured, and reported that the brakes had failed. The previous day a driver had reported that the brakes on #864 were acting up, but no warning tag had been placed on the bus, and it had not been parked in the repair row. The impact caused the roof of the MTC to sag by nearly a metre, requiring emergency shoring to prevent collapse and $80 000 in repairs.
July 10, 2009 - Hamilton, Upper Horning & Mohawk
At about 11:30 pm on July 10, 2009, HSR #0604 suffered a brake fire on the driver's side rear wheel, which quickly spread to the tire and then up the side of the bus into the battery storage area. The bus suffered approx. $100 000 in damages and was retired from service, serving as a source of spare parts
December 3, 2010 - Hamilton, Rymal & Miles
At 5:40 am on December 3, 2010, HSR #0605 was out of service when it was in a collision with a tractor-trailer at Rymal and Miles. The bus suffered heavy damage to the front, pinning the driver's legs and requiring the use of hydraulic cutters by firefighters. Both the bus driver and the driver of the tractor-trailer suffered moderate injuries. #0605 was towed away for possible repair, but the damage was too extensive and the bus was stricken from the roster in May 2011.
February 27, 2015 - Hamilton, John & Haymarket
At 9:30 am on February 27, 2015, HSR #1103 was pulling out of the Hamilton GO Centre onto John street when a delivery truck ran a red light and crashed into the side of the bus, causing the bus to crash into the the Hamilton branch of the Canadian Mental Health Association at 131 John Street South. The bus had 10 passengers on board, several of which were treated for minor injuries along with the bus driver. The truck driver was charged with running a red light.
HSR #1103 after the accident, showing the point of impact next to the left front wheel. (Photo by Hybrid0920, used with permission)
HSR #1103 has been pulled away from the building it crashed into and is being rigged for towing. (Photo by Hybrid0920, used with permission)
May 10, 2016 - Hamilton, Upper James & South Bend
Just before 7:00 pm on May 10, 2016, HSR #0616 was heading southbound out-of-service on Upper James near South Bend when the onboard batteries overheated and ignited. Fire crews responded quickly and the damage was contained mainly to the battery compartment on the roof. Because of the age of the bus it was decided that repairing it would not be economical, and it was stricken from the roster in July 2016. #0616 was stored on HSR property as a source of spare parts until it was sold for scrap and hauled away on May 28, 2018. As it was being towed down the Red Hill Valley Parkway at 4:30 PM the bus caught fire again near Barton St.
Footage of HSR #0616 on fire on May 10, 2016.
Ex HSR #0616 on fire on the Red Hill Valley Parkway just north of Barton, May 28, 2018. (Photo by Hamilton, used with permission)
This appears to be one of the HG&B cars in the #151-155 series. The location of the derailment is unknown, and a check of newspapers for the date has so far turned up nothing. It is possible that the date is in error. (Photo courtesy of Library and Archives Canada, used with permission)
HG&B #151 derailed near Beamsville during the First World War. Exact location is uncertain, but it's near a road crossing. (First image is from the Richard Vincent collection, second image is from the Ross Gray collection)
HTC #601 has derailed on the HG&B at Maplewood and Prospect in Hamilton during the 1920s. (Photo courtesy of the Hamilton Public Library, Local History & Archives, used with permission)
HTC #603 is towed back to the Sanford yard after being damaged in a collision during the 1910s. For a time it was thought that this was taken after the December 9, 1918 crash, but the trees with leaves on them in the background and the workmen in shortsleeves suggests a warmer time of year. (From the Richard Vincent collection, used with permission)
CCL #1821 having flipped over while on a trip to Holiday Valley in upstate New York, chartered by the Mohawk College Ski Club in the 1970-71 season. No idea as to the exact date or location. (Photo courtesy of Mohawk College Alumni Association)