Struck by a heavily laden freight train while walking along the Canadian National tracks about 300 feet west of the Nelles sideroad, John Russell, 60, of Toronto, was instantly killed Saturday night. The train, which was made up of 70 cars, was being driven at a speed of about 35 miles an hour when Russell's figure was spotted in the headlights. The train struck the unfortunate man in the back after the engine crew had sounded the whistle and applied the brakes. The train travelled approximately its full length before being pulled to a stop, and the victim was dead by the time members of the train crew reached him. According to the engineer, Russell gave no indication of having heard the train or the warning whistle.
Russell appears to have come to this district some few weeks ago to work on fruit farms. For the past two weeks he had been employed at the farm of Hylton Briscoe on Main St. West. A fellow employee of Russell's stated that he had accompanied the deceased man to town Saturday night, and that Russell had told him he was going down to the Beach for a swim.
Coroner C.W. Elmore of Beamsville, and Constable Ernest Hart of the provincial police, investigated, and after some inquiries the remains were ordered to the Stonehouse Funeral Home. It has not yet been decided whether or not there will be an inquest. Officials here are inclined to the opinion that one will not be necessary, and word regarding a hearing is expected some time today.
Hans Hansen, with whom Russell had been working in local orchards, told police that Russell was afflicted with deafness as a result of heart trouble. He mentioned the fact that when the two of them walked along the street together, Russell often went to the other side of Hansen, complaining that his hearing was not what it should be.
Little was known of Russell prior to his coming to this district. Identification was made through papers found in his pocket, and it was later disclosed that he was a Toronto man, with a brother, James, living in that city, and a sister living in Gananoque. Papers also disclosed that he was a former patient of the Christie Street military hospital in Toronto, and that he was in receipt of a pension from the last war. A native of Scotland, he came to Canada in 1910. He served with the 2nd Pioneers during the last war after enlisting with the 139th Battalion.
Burial was made last Tuesday afternoon in Deseronto, after arrangements for it had been made by a veterans' organization in Toronto.