Railway lights, arms and whistles were working when a 47-year-old man was hit at a crossing in Innisfail Tuesday night, says the town’s mayor.
“We don’t have whistle cessation so whatever happened here they ignored the bells, the arms and the whistle which is a shame,” said Mayor Brian Spiller.
“Our hearts go out to his family and hopefully he’ll pull through.”
Spiller said the man did have a bicycle but did not know if he was walking the bike or riding it.
Innisfail RCMP said just after 10 p.m. officers were dispatched to 42nd Street and the CP Rail crossing where a train crew reported that they had hit a person on the tracks.
The Innisfail man was taken to Innisfail Health Centre and later airlifted by STARS to another hospital with severe injuries, but he was expected to survive.
Canadian Pacific Railway said based on their initial investigation, it appeared the crew sounded the train’s horn in an attempt to get the man’s attention.
Canadian Pacific Police Service is investigating the incident jointly with RCMP.
Spiller said train collisions are not really an issue for Innisfail. The last collision he could recall was about 10 years ago when a person left a bar late at night and tried to swerve around the bars and was hit.
“Probably the biggest problem is the length of trains that come through our town. They can take up to five minutes when you get trains closing in on 200 cars now with the amount of oil they’re shipping down from northern Alberta.”