John A. Grills, fruit grower, of Winona, formerly of New Liskeard, Ont., was almost instantly killed, and his 6-year-old son, John, seriously injured here at 3:23 Monday afternoon, when a fruit truck driven by the deceased, was struck by the eastbound Buffalo express at the intersection of the C.N.R. main line and the Winona station road and level crossing. The boy was removed to Hamilton hospital.
Mr. Grills, conveying a load of plums from his farm for shipment, was proceeding southward and, according to eye-witnesses of the fatality, was afforded clear vision of the rails in both directions. The heavily laden truck, moving about 5 miles per hour, was hurled more that 30 feet. It turned turtle in the air, and landed upside down with the victim beneath it. The boy, riding beside his father, was thrown clear of the vehicle and fell alongside the rails, on which the flyer was passing. One of his legs was severely lacerated, and other serious bodily injuries were sustained. Mr. Grills lived by a few minutes after being removed from the wreckage. Dr. Lee, of Winona, attended the injured man, as did one or two other physicians. passengers on the train, which came to a stop within its own length.
The truck was one with a closed driver's cab, and it is thought this may have interfered with Mr. Grill's view to either side, and that the noise from the motor prevented his hearing the whistle of the approaching flyer, said to be traveling between 30 and 35 miles per hour. The vehicle was reduced to matchwood, and fruit was strewn in all directions, some of it being carried a considerable distance along the road.
It was singular in connection with fatality that Abe Grills, of Hamilton, cousin of the deceased, and roadmaster of this division of the railway, was riding in the driving side of the locomotive, and saw the accident. He was among the first to reach his cousin's side after the train had stopped.
This crossing is one of the most dangerous on the line, and travelers are afforded no protection whatever other than the ordinary railway crossing sign. Though this was the first fatality in some years, there had been uncountable near-accidents.
The late Mr. Grills was 32 years old. He is survived by his widow and three children: John, aged 6; Helen, aged 4, and a 2-year-old baby; two brothers, William R., of Winona, and Gus, of Oshawa; four sisters, Mrs. T.C. Grills, New Liskeard; Miss Irene, Winona; Mrs. Stanley Lovie, Hickson, and Mrs. Milton Day, near Oshawa, and his father and mother, John J. and Mrs. Grills.
An inquest will be held in Winona hall, on Monday night, at 8:30 p.m.
The funeral of the deceased will take place tomorrow afternoon from his late residence, at 3 o'clock.