A 43-year-old Hobbema male driver was killed and a five-year-old girl was injured when a train collided with a vehicle north of Bashaw early Sunday morning.
Bashaw RCMP Acting Sgt. Geoff Buxcey said it appears the vehicle was in a crash prior to the train striking it.
The driver was pronounced dead at the scene. It isn’t known if he was killed during the initial crash or the collision with the train.
He said the car crossed Hwy 21 onto 611 at regular highway speed, hit the ditch and was projected onto the train tracks, where it came to rest. “We don’t know the time difference between that accident and when the train struck it,” Buxcey said.
The initial crash is believed to have involved just the vehicle that was eventually hit by the train.
“When the train crew came upon the scene they only had about 200 metres of visibility with their head lamp and they went into an emergency stop procedures, but they couldn’t stop and they collided with the vehicle on the tracks,” Buxcey said. It was foggy and raining at the time the train hit the vehicle sometime before 1:30 a.m. on Sunday.
The train pushed the vehicle around 500 metres before coming to a stop. The CN crew weren’t injured and attempted to assist the people inside after the collision.
The Jaws-of-Life were used to get the five-year-old girl, who is also from Hobbema, out of the vehicle. She was stabilized at the scene before being rushed by ground ambulance to Edmonton. STARS air ambulance was unable to launch that night due to weather conditions. The girl was taken to hospital with undetermined injuries and her condition is not known at this time.
Buxcey said a traffic reconstructionist out of Stettler is investigating and the Calgary Medical Examiner’s office will do an autopsy and toxicology report. He said it will take a couple of weeks before more is known about what caused the collision.
Police will not release the names of the individuals involved in the collision or their relationship with one another until family are notified.