Editor’s Note: Two days after Christmas in 1942 one of Canada’s worst train accidents happened near the site of the present-day Almonte Library.
For reasons that are still not fully clear, a 13-car troop train from western Canada plowed into the back of the stopped ‘local’ carrying holiday passengers from Petawawa to Ottawa. 36 passengers were killed and over 150 were injured. Photos below show how devastating the crash was.
A survivor of that tragic accident, Margaret Lisinski, has given her caregiver permission to share this photo of her and her comments on the crash.
Ms. Margaret Lisinski (94) is now in a retirement home in Ottawa, the Carlingwood Retirement Centre. I am her constant caregiver and see her practically every day.
I hear stories from her in dribs and drabs. I talked about Christmas time. That time is always very traumatic for her. She doesn’t seem to have celebrated it much.
Margaret’s favourite line for what she would like to receive most is: “All I want for Christmas is a new pair of legs.”
Since the accident, when her legs where so heavily damaged and full of scars, the crash has played a huge role in her life, with constant physical and emotional suffering. She is always in a lot of pain. In spite of that she is a real trooper.
Photos of the devastation in 1942: