Robert John Kaitting
b. 5/31/1900 d. 4/23/1912
Born May 31, 1900 in Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Died April 23, 1912 in Belleville, Ontario, Canada
Belleville Newspaper, Ontario, Canada 4/24/1912 Page 2
KAITTING - In Belleville on Tuesday, April 23rd, Robert John Kaitting, aged 11 years, 10 months.
The funeral will take place from the family residence, Pinnacle Street, South, on Thursday, April 25th, at 2:30 p.m. Services at the house at 2 p.m. Internment Belleville cemetery
Belleville Newspaper 4/24/1912 Page 1
BOY WAS CRUSHED TO DEATH WHILE RIDING ON G.T.R. CARS
As the result of playing about moving cars a young life was last evening sacrificed. The scene of the unfortunate affair was Pinnacle Street near Wharf Street. and the victim was Robert John Kaitting, son of Mr. and Mrs. John Kaitting. whose home is on Pinnacle Street. The accident occurred about 6 o'clock. It appears that Kaitting and some other children were on some cars on the line of the Grand Junction, which were being shunted on the switch. He was on the ladder on the side of the car near one end and was supposed to be in the act of getting off. On the adjoining track a car was standing so close to the moving car that Kaitting was caught between the two cars, being crushed in a terrible manner. The lad's predicament was seen, and as speedily as possible assistance came to him. He was alive and apparently suffering terrible agony. He was conveyed to his home near by, and medical aid summoned, but it was of no avail. It was seen that the injuries, which were of an internal nature, were such that death would ensue, and the victim passed away about an hour later
.The deceased, who was 12 years of age, was a bright lad. He attended Pinnacle Street School, where he was much thought of by his teacher and companions. Recently he was awarded a silver medal as a successful competitor in a "Y" temperance elocution contest, his rendition of a temperance essay being considered worthy of the prize.
After death ensued Dr. Yeomans, coroner, who had been summoned ordered an inquest, which is compulsory under the law at present when a person is killed on a railway. The jury, after viewing the remains, adjourned to hear the facts of the case, related by those who are conversant with them. The remains were then prepared for burial. Today the flag at Pinnacle Street School was floating at half mast out of respect for the deceased.
Belleville Newspaper, Ontario, Canada 4/26/1912 Page 1, Part 1
CORONER'S JURY DECIDED THAT BOY'S DEATH WAS ACCIDENTAL
Robert John Kaitting came to his death accidentally when riding on a G.T.R. train on Pinnacle Street on Tuesday, April 23rd, 1912, and that no blame can be attached to any G.T.R. employees in charge of the train.
In our opinion more precaution should be taken for the protection of human life by both the railway and municipal authorities.
Such was the verdict rendered last evening by the jury empanelled to enquire into the facts regarding the accident whereby the lad Robert John Kaitting lost his life. During the enquiry many witnesses were examined. Dr. Yeomans, coroner, presided. Mr. P.J. M. Anderson, County Attorney, represented the Crown, and Mr. Taylor represented the Grand Trunk Railway.
Sergt. Naphin, sworn, said he acted as constable and sumoned the jurymen who were ratepayers of the city. Personally he knew nothing of the accident.
Mrs. John Kaitting testified she was the mother of Robert John Kaitting who was in his 12th year. He attended school on Tuesday. She learned of the accident to her son about 5:30 p.m. She had repeatedly warned her children, and especially the deceased, to keep away from the cars, which ran near the house. Did not see her son upon the cars that evening. Had often seen children on the cars, but never saw the railway men or any person put them off.
Dr. Gibson testified that he was called to Mrs. Kaitting's place on Tuesday evening and saw the boy who was injured. His spine was injured and he was injured internally. He was conscious at first. Deceased was unconscious about 15 minutes before he died. The lad died about 6 o'clock.
Frank Weir testified that he remembered the accident that befell Robert John Kaitting. The deceased was talking to witness and some other boys when a train backed down the Grand Junction track. Kaitting ran away from the boys and caught the end car. Witness saw deceased, trying to get up the ladder at the end of the car. Another car was standing still and Kaitting was caught between the two cars. Witness did not see a brakeman on the train. Witness did not see Kaitting again until he was called to come to him. Witness picked up Kaitting and carried him home. He had seen boys jump on cars that were moving along the track. Some of the boys who were with Kaitting that evening ran and jumped upon the cars. He had warned boys not to jump upon the cars, but did not do so that evening. He had not seen in late years the police officers or any one in authority warn boys not to jump upon the cars. Witness did not hear Kaitting make an outcry.
Frank Edward Kaitting, a lad of 10 years, stated that he was cousin of Robert John Kaitting. He saw Robert get upon the car. Witness and another cousin jumped on the second car, but Robbie took hold of the end car. He saw Robbie go between the cars and he fell to the ground. He spoke and said he was hurt. Witness called Frank Weir and he carried Robbie home. Witness had jumped upon the cars several times, although his mother had told him not to do so. Both cars were box cars.
James Hunter, a lad of 7 years, stated that he was on the cars with Frank and Robert Kaitting. He did not see Robbie again until he was on the ground. He had been told by his mother to keep off the cars.
Mrs. E. Kaitting testified that she was at Mrs. John Kaitting's place when Frank Weir brought Robert in. He was unconscious but he revived. Robert told witness that he was hurt by falling off a car.
Edward Kaitting testified that Robert John Kaitting, the deceased, was his brother. He heard Robbie say that he got hurt by falling off a car. Personally he knew nothing of the accident. Witness knew the boys were warned some years ago to keep off the cars, but had not heard of any warnings being given lately.
W.R. Wensley testified that he was engineer of the train that the lad Kaitting was injured upon. He did not learn of the accident until after the lad had been taken home. The yard foreman was in charge of the train and he went down and opened the switch. The standing car was on the main line and the moving car was left on the line the night before. It was a loaded car. He could not tell what space there was between the two carrs, but knew the standing car was left clear. The car standing was a refrigerator car. The boys had been warned by the yard foreman and by witness to keep off the cars, but it is repeatedly done as cars are being moved down Pinnacle Street.
Sergt. Naphin, recalled, testified that he first heard of the accident about 6:50 Tuesday evening. He visited the scene of the accident with the jury. The piece of wood produced was broken off the top of the ladder of the car that was standing in front of Hughes warehouse. It appears to have been a new break.
James Emerson testified that he was a fireman on the engine of the train that was backing down Pinnacle St. The train was backing down slowly. He did not know of the accident until some time after it occurred.
L.P. Hughes testified that he did not learn of the accident until late Tuesday night. The car was left at his warehouse. He could not tell exactly where the car was left. He understood it was a refrigerator car. Boys were in the habit of jumping upon cars that were left on the line there.
Wm. R. Lott testified that he was a yard foreman and was in charge of the train. He did not see any boys on the train on the day the accident occurred. He got off the train at the end and went and opened a switch. This was just south of Dundas St. Between the two cars there was a space of 8 or 10 inches, but the ladders would be nearer, as they project out from the cars. He had repeatedly warned boys to keep away from the moving cars, and for his trouble had been stoned by the lads.
Lawrence Edwards, brakeman on the train, corroborated the evidence of the former witnesses who were on the train.
This concluded the evidence, and after the Coroner had briefly outlined the facts to the jury they retired and returned a verdict as above recorded.