If the intersection wasn't tricky enough as it is now, consider the era prior to 1959, when the streetcar ran alongside Byron Avenue too. School children not only were ducking vehicles during the frenzied proliferation of cars everywhere post-WWII, they also had to avoid fast-moving streetcars. Luckily, this little story from 1954 doesn't involve school children, but it does involve a streetcar, in what the Citizen dubbed a "spectacular accident".
During the evening rush hour of Wednesday June 2nd, 1954, Gilbert Olsen and Morris Scobie were travelling in their car southbound down Hilson towards Byron. They must not have noticed the eastbound streetcar travelling their way at that same moment. The tram smashed into the side of their car, the impact carrying the car more than 50 feet down the track until it was thrown against a tall pole supporting the streetcar wire. The pole was sheared off at the base, and the car was totaled.
Olsen (the driver, who was 62 years old and lived on Tillbury Avenue), and Scobie (the passenger, resident of 1518 Carling Avenue) were both injured, but both refused medical attention. They both suffered painful cuts to their face from shattered glass, but were otherwise very lucky to have sustained any major injury.
An emergency OTC (Ottawa Transit Commission) crew was rushed to the scene. Within 10 minutes westbound streetcar traffic was resumed, but it took 10 additional minutes for the eastbound cars could go. The news photographer was quick to get to the scene too, capturing the moment the car was pulled onto the tow truck, while a streetcar in the background (uncertain whether it's the same one involved in the crash) remained parked and waiting for the line to open back up. A couple of tired looking passengers can be seen inside. Also kind of interesting features in the photo are a police motorcycle just out of view at the left edge, and a well-dressed teen boy taking a look at the demolished old car.
|June 2, 1954|
(City of Ottawa Archives, CA-4461)
|2014 Google Streetview of the same location|