Train jumper finds himself on fast track to hypothermia

An Edmonton man is fortunate to be alive after he hopped a freight train and nearly froze to death Friday when he couldn’t dismount the train between Wetaskiwin and Blackfalds.

An Edmonton man is fortunate to be alive after he hopped a freight train and nearly froze to death Friday when he couldn’t dismount the train between Wetaskiwin and Blackfalds.

Const. Steve Murray of Lacombe Police Services said Monday the 29-year-old man was discovered lodged between two rail cars near Blackfalds about 3:45 a.m.

He was found by Const. John Hubbard of Lacombe police and a Red Deer Rural RCMP member, Murray said.

“The fellow had jumped onto the coupling,” Murray said.

When discovered his core body temperature had sunk to 32 C which is almost five degrees less than normal.

The man had hopped the train in Wetaskiwin around 3 a.m. and hitched what he believed to be a short ride before he found himself in danger of freezing to death, said Sgt. Patrick Webb of RCMP in Calgary.

The man, who was intoxicated, had climbed aboard the slow moving freight intending to jump off again after a few blocks.

However, the train gained speed and the man realized that he couldn’t get off.

The train continued south and the man realized he was becoming hypothermic and in danger of going unconscious, Webb said.

The man managed to call police who launched an intensive search to find out which train he was on and where it was headed.

Police made numerous calls to CP Rail and CN to identify the train.

The search was narrowed to two possibilities and ambulances were mustered and put on standby.

An ambulance was finally dispatched when RCMP were able to identify the train the man was on.

Wetaskiwin, Ponoka and Red Deer Rural RCMP were advised and updated along with Lacombe police.

When the two trains were eventually stopped including the one near Blackfalds, the train whistle was sounded and police listening on the man’s cellphone then identified the correct train.

Hubbard and his counterpart then started at the beginning of the train and walked back 38 cars through deep snow drifts before finding the man.

Murray said the man couldn’t walk so the train had to be moved slowly to a point where ambulance personnel could get him.

“He was so far into hypothermia he was essentially unconscious,” Webb said.

The temperature at the time was minus 24C.

The man was taken to hospital and has recovered well, Webb said late Monday.

He didn’t suffer frostbite and was discharged from hospital.

A railway spokesman said the man has been charged with trespassing by CPR police.

“He’s one very lucky guy,” Webb said.

“If anything this should serve as a lesson to everyone about hopping on a train.

“Climbing on a train is both illegal and very dangerous in all weather conditions. People can get killed or seriously injured,” he added.

jwilson@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

Gabe Cuthand, Brandon McDonald, Dean Johnson and Dakota Dion drumming during a past Indigenous Peoples Day celebration at City Hall Park in Red Deer (Advocate file photo).
Indigenous People’s Day will be celebrated online on Monday

National Indigenous Peoples Day will be celebrated in Red Deer on Monday… Continue reading

(Black Press file photo).
A look at COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada on Friday, June 18, 2021

The latest numbers on COVID-19 vaccinations in Canada as of 4:00 a.m.… Continue reading

(Black Press file photo).
AstraZeneca second dose ‘good choice’ despite federal guidance: B.C.’s top doctor

THE CANADIAN PRESS VICTORIA — British Columbia’s top doctor says there is… Continue reading

A person walks past a colourful wall while wearing a protective mask in the warm weather during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Wednesday, June 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
A look at COVID-19 reopening plans across the country

As COVID-19 vaccination rates increase and case numbers drop across the country,… Continue reading

Ubuntu – Mobilizing Central Alberta co-founder Dieulita Datus (front left) received a Multiculturalism, Indigenous and Inclusion Grant for the organization from the Government of Alberta. (Photo by Advocate staff)
Central Alberta organization promoting diversity, inclusion receives $6,000 grant from Alberta gov’t

Ubuntu was given the funds to further its work into equality and equity for all

A supporter of presidential candidate Ebrahim Raisi holds a sign during a rally in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday, June 16, 2021. Iran's clerical vetting committee has allowed just seven candidates for the Friday, June 18, ballot, nixing prominent reformists and key allies of President Hassan Rouhani. The presumed front-runner has become Ebrahim Raisi, the country's hard-line judiciary chief who is closely aligned with Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Iran votes in presidential poll tipped in hard-liner’s favor

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Iranians voted Friday in a presidential… Continue reading

Tokyo 2020 CEO Toshiro Muto, left, and President Seiko Hashimoto attend the news conference after receiving a report from a group of infectious disease experts on Friday, June 18, 2021, in Tokyo. The experts including Shigeru Omi, head of a government coronavirus advisory panel, issued a report listing the risks of allowing the spectators and the measurements to prevent the event from triggering a coronavirus spread. (Yuichi Yamazaki/Pool Photo via AP)
Top medical adviser says ‘no fans’ safest for Tokyo Olympics

TOKYO (AP) — The safest way to hold the Tokyo Olympics is… Continue reading

FILE - In this June 12, 2021, file photo, Rajkumar Haryani, 38, who painted his body to create awareness about vaccination against the coronavirus poses for photographs after getting a dose of Covishield vaccine in Ahmedabad, India. Starting June 21, 2021, every Indian adult can get a COVID-19 vaccine dose for free that was purchased by the federal government. The policy reversal announced last week ends a complex system of buying vaccines that worsened inequities in accessing vaccines. India is a key global supplier of vaccines and its missteps have left millions of people waiting unprotected. The policy change is likely to address inequality but questions remain and shortages will continue. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki, File)
How India is changing vaccine plan amid shortages

NEW DELHI (AP) — Starting Monday, every adult in India will be… Continue reading

Chief of Defence staff General Jonathan Vance speaks during a news conference to , in Ottawa Tuesday August 30, 2016. The Canadian Armed Forces says it is making progress in the fight against sexual misconduct in the ranks, but much more work needs to be done. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Freeze promotions until military commanders are screened for misconduct: Committee

OTTAWA — A parliamentary committee has called for a freeze on all… Continue reading

Minister of Families, Children and Social Development Ahmed Hussen takes part in an update on the COVID-19 pandemic, in Ottawa on Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2020. Hussen says he is looking to municipalities to reshape local rules to more quickly build units through the government's national housing strategy. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Cities should redo planning, permitting to align with housing strategy, minister says

OTTAWA — The federal minister in charge of affordable housing says he… Continue reading

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. On June 1, NACI had said AstraZeneca recipients "could" get Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna for their second shot if they wanted, but Thursday went further to say an mRNA vaccine was the "preferred" choice. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

When Gwenny Farrell booked her second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine… Continue reading

Brooklyn Nets' James Harden, right, is guarded by Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo, center, during the first half of Game 6 of a second-round NBA basketball playoff series Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeffrey Phelps)
Bucks bounce back to defeat Nets 104-89 and force Game 7

MILWAUKEE — Khris Middleton scored 38 points, Giannis Antetokounmpo added 30 and… Continue reading

Tampa Bay Lightning center Brayden Point (21) brings the puck up the ice against the New York Islanders during the third period of Game 3 of the NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinals, Thursday, June 17, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. Tampa Bay won 2-1.(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)
Point scores again, Lightning beat Islanders 2-1 in Game 3

Lightning 2 Islanders 1 (Tampa Bay leads series 2-1) UNIONDALE, N.Y. —… Continue reading

Most Read