TWO people have been killed in five days while attempting to cross through CN's Terrace

Second person killed while crossing CN tracks in Terrace, B.C.

Accident took place this morning and the first accident took place Aug. 26

  • Wed Aug 31st, 2016 1:00pm
  • News

Terrace RCMP are now reporting that a second person here has been killed after being struck by a CN train while trying to cross the CN rail yard which separates the city.

The victim is a 38-year-old woman, who was killed at 5:30 a.m. today, say police.

Police say alcohol was a factor on the part of the woman.

“A female attempted to cross the tracks between rail cars near JF distributors when the train momentarily stopped. The train began to move as she was climbing through and she fell, got caught underneath and died,” said Terrace RCMP Sgt. Mike Robinson.

“Civilian witnesses confirmed the incident and the train staff was not aware of her actions until after she got caught underneath when they initiated braking. The coroner is investigating; CN is also involved and we are assisting.”

And they’re reminding the public about the dangers surrounding crossing the CN tracks.

The first person killed was Bernard Romeo Desjardins, 59, of Terrace on Aug. 26.

He and a companion were crossing the tracks behind the 3100-block of School Road as an eastbound freight train was travelling through on the northernmost track in CN’s rail yard here.

The companion was able to get off the tracks before the train came, but Desjardins was not able to do so, and was struck by the engine.

He died instantly.

Despite warning signs and the possibility of fines, it is not uncommon for people to cross the tracks to get from the southern section of Terrace to the northern section and vice versa.

There is no pedestrian overpass over the tracks in the city and the only pedestrian access between the two sections of the city are sidewalks on the Sande Overpass.

There are fences along some portions of CN’s rail yard but it is also not uncommon for people to cut holes in them.

The yard, as is the case with other CN facilities, is patrolled by CN Police but it is not known where the officers are based or how often patrols are conducted.

The fear of people being killed on the tracks was a topic at a Terrace city council meeting late last year when councillors reacted to a November 2015 incident in which a container train was delayed for 45 minutes when several people wouldn’t get off the tracks.

On that occasion, the group did not move until police arrived, said councillor Brian Downie at the meeting.

He said police have confirmed they get regular calls to go down and get people off the tracks, said Downie.

Council then passed a motion to ask CN for a meeting to explore ways to stop trespassing on its tracks.

CN official Kate Fenske said this afternoon the company is working with the city.

“CN is actively engaged with the City of Terrace and other stakeholders to help prevent trespassing. There are various potential measures being discussed, including awareness, continued monitoring and enforcement,” she said, adding that enforcement includes local authorities and CN Police.

“These incidents are tragic reminders that reinforce the fact that trespassing on railway property is not only illegal, but extremely dangerous. CN urges the public to stay off CN property and away from railway equipment at all times,” added Fenske.