A recent post about an Accident at Derrinal Railway stated that the injured person was an engine driver named Howe. This was soon found to be incorrect information. The person who died in this accident was Robert Storey. Below are details of the accident from the Magisterial Inquiry.from: The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, 8 November 1900.
From: McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser, 08 November 1900, page 2
A magisterial inquiry touching the death of Robert Storey, whose lamentable death we referred to in our last issue, was held by Jas. Crowle, Esq, J.P., at the Black Swan Hotel, on Wednesday the 31st ult., when the following depositions were taken, Mr J. A. C. Firth being present on behalf of Mrs Storey, the widow of deceased:
Elizabeth Storey, sworn, deposed, I am the wife of the deceased Robert Storey. Last saw my husband alive on the 30th October at 11 a.m., when he left home on horseback to go to Ellesmere. He said he would be back home about 11 p.m. if he were coming. Identify the body as that of my husband. The horse he was riding is quiet and not given to bolting, the ohildren often riding it about the town. I reside in High Street, Heathcote .
John Duncan, sworn, deposed, I am a farmer. Saw the body of Robert Storey last night at the Black Swan Hotel about 12 o’clock, midnight. Saw him alive, breathing for a few seconds at about 10 o’clock.
Was sitting near my father’s place having a smoke about 10 p.m., when I heard a horse galloping along the main road, evidently about half a mile away, and a man calling out ” woa ” as fast as he could repeat it. The horse was going towards Heathcote. From the man calling out, I concluded he had no control over the horse, Heard him singing out until 1 heard a crash. He must have travelled a mile at racing pace from the time I first heard the galloping until the crash occurred.
After the crash I ran up to the station house and called out for Mr Bowman. Mr Bowman was in bed and got up and asked what was the matter. Told him what I had heard. Accompanied by Mr Bowman I searched the road but found nothing on it, and we were both going homewards when Mr Bowman called me from the station yard to come to him. We found deceased lying on the ground lying partly on his face. Mr Bowman turned his (deceased’s) face around, and I lit a match and we looked at deceased, The deceased was then alive but unconscious. He was bruised and had blood on his face.
Mr Bowman tried to catch his own horse to go for a doctor, while I remained with the injured man. Mr Farley then went for the doctor. Remained with deceased till the doctor came. In my opinion he only lived for two or three minutes after we found him. In my opinion the horse was absolutely beyond control.
To Mr Firth: Mrs Bowman has charge of the Derrinal Station, where the accident occurred. It was a dark night. Sometimes the northern gate is closed at night, and sometimes it is left open. Have seen all three gates open at night, and some times all closed. The body was about fifteen yards from a telegraph post. There is a wire stay supporting this post. There is a track leading from the north to the south gate, passing near the above stay.
Daniel Thomas Bowman, sworn stated, and a railway employee residing at Derrinal railway station. On the night of the 30th inst., about 10 p.m., someone knocked at my door, and John Duncan, of Derrinal, told me he thought a serious accident had happened, Duncan and I went across to the main, road to find out what had happened.
We searched the roads both ways for a distance of a quarter of a mile and found nothing. I said to Duncan the crash might have been into one of the wood heaps.I said to Duncan, you go along the road while I go through the station. yard. I had not gone fifty yards when I came upon a man lying on the ground. I called Duncan. We went up to the man, who was lying face downwards and I turned the man on his side and found he was alive.
I said to Duncan to stay here and I’ll get my pony and go for the doctor. Could not catch my pony and my wife’s sister went to ask Mr Thos, Farley’s assistance. Mr Farley caught the horse ridden by deceased, in the station yard, and want to Heathcote for Dr Reid. Stayed till the doctor came.
To Mr Firth: Believe there is a rule that the station gates are to be shut at a certain hour. The heaps of wood mentioned are in the station yard. Ellen Bowman, sworn,said, am station mistress at Derrinal station. On the night of the 30th October about 10 p.m., I heard a horse galloping past very fast. Mr John Duncan soon after came to the door and asked for my husband.
My husband got out of bed and went with Mr Duncan to see what had happened. Stood on the platform and heard my husband call “Jack.” My husband ran back and told me there was a man lying on the ground dead or dying, and told me to go to the injured man, and I did so, taking water and a towel with me. My husband went to catch his horse to go for the doctor, and my sister went for Mr Theos. Farley. Don’t think he lived more than half an hour from the time of the accident.
To Mr Firth; Sometimes I send the children to close the gates at night, and sometimes I do not. The woodcarters often open the gates at night after we close them. The north gate was open this morning when we got up. Know that there is a departmental rule that all station gates are to be closed at a certain hour at night, but I do not know whether or not the rule applies to my station. Did not give directions to anyone to close the gates on the evening when the accident occurred, nor did I close them myself.
George Marr Reid, sworn, deposed, am a legally qualified medical practitioner, residing at Heathcote. On the evening of the 30th October, about 11.30 p.m, I was summoned to attend a man said to have been thrown from his horse at the Derrinal railway station. Immediately drove to, the scene of the accident, and found the body of a man, whom I recognised as Robert Storey, of Heathcote, !ying on the ground inside the Derrinal station yard.
On examination, I found that life had been extinct for. at least an hour, as rigor mortis was well advanced. Advised that the body be removed to the Black Swan Hotel. which was done on the 31st inst. about 8.30 p.m. Made a superficial examination of the deceased, Robert Storey, lying at the Black Swan Hotel.
Discovered evidence of fracture of the spine about the 8td or 4th cervical vertebra. There was a large contusion on the left shoulder, extensive abrasions on the left side of the face, and three or four lacerated wounds on the back of right hand and fingers. No fracture of the skull evident. No fracture of bones of extremities. rigor mortis and hypostatic lividity fully established.
In my opinion accordingly the cause of death was the fracture of the cervical spine, with injury to the spinal cord, causing paralysis of respiration. The injury above mentioned was evidently caused by a fall from his horse.
To Mr Firth: Have examined the scene of the accident by daylight. The body was near a telegraph post supported by a wire stay, which I noticed was quite loose today. Saw some horse-hair, evidently from the mane, lying on the ground between the position where the body had been and the telegraph post. Noticed a bright mark on the wire about two feet above the ground, as if some hard substance had come in contact with it forcibly.
It is my opinion that the horse stumbled by striking the wire and unseated his rider (the deceased.) A verdict was given to the effect that the deceased met his death from injuries accidentally received by being thrown from the horse he was riding
Magisterial Inquiry.” The McIvor Times and Rodney Advertiser (Heathcote, Vic. : 1863 – 1918) 8 November 1900: 2. Web. 24 Jul 2020 <http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article90211644>.
Punctuation and paragraphs have been added to the above transcription for ease and speed of reading)
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