‘We remember the chaos:’ Parents of twins killed on bobsled track attend inquiry

CALGARY — The parents of teenage twins who died during an after-hours run down Canada Olympic Park’s luge-bobsled track two years ago say they try not to dwell on the details of what happened and don’t want to blame anyone.

Jason and Shauna Caldwell were in court Monday for the start of a fatality inquiry into the deaths of their sons Jordan and Evan.

“Risks to life in this world are inevitable, but because we value life and there are opportunities to put safeguards in place, we fully support and encourage this inquiry process, and are thankful for it,” the father told the inquiry led by Judge Margaret Keelaghan.

Keelaghan’s role is not to assign legal responsibility, but she may recommend ways to prevent similar deaths in future.

Jason Caldwell said outside court that he and his wife made a conscious decision not to be obsessed by the facts of the crash that claimed the lives of their 17-year-old boys.

“Nothing that will be said here today can bring Evan and Jordan back,” he said, clutching a leatherbound bible that belonged to Jordan.

“We’ve had to let all of that raw pain and grief be displaced by something bigger, and that is our faith in God and our faith that we will see Evan and Jordan again.”

The twins were part of a larger group that snuck onto the grounds of the WinSport facility with plastic sleds and headed down the icy track, which was built for the 1988 Olympics.

They hit a gate, set up to divide the bobsled and luge runs, at high speed and died almost instantly — six other young men were taken to hospital.

The Caldwells drew parallels with the grief still rippling after the Humboldt Broncos bus crash in Saskatchewan on Friday, which killed 15.

After the accident two years ago, the Caldwells thought one of the boys in hospital might have been their son, but found out later that both had died.

They said they empathize with families affected by similar confusion following the Broncos crash. Authorities mixed up the identities of one of the deceased and one of the survivors partly because the hockey players all had blond dyed hair and similar builds.

“We remember the chaos of it and waiting for hours to identify the unidentified boy,” Shauna Caldwell recalled.

Calgary Police Service Det. Neil MacPherson, who responded to the scene the morning of the accident, told the inquiry the boys climbed over a fence that was more than two-metres high at the top of the sliding track to get into the start house.

MacPherson said there were “no trespassing” signs and three boys involved in the Feb. 6, 2016, tragedy had snuck into the park nearly two weeks before.

Helena Falk, who was a security guard at the time, told court her training did not touch on unauthorized entry onto the sliding track. She said she’d heard rumours about, but never encountered, anyone trying it until the night of the fatal crash.

Shauna Caldwell hugged Falk as the inquiry broke for lunch. The couple has told WinSport, which owns and operates the track and Canada Olympic Park, they have no intention of taking legal action and invited anyone involved in the tragedy to reach out to them.

Just Posted

Spring book sale this weekend in Red Deer

Red Deerians can get lost in a world of inexpensive books this… Continue reading

Central Alberta wildlife rehab facility not prepared to take orphaned bear cubs, yet

It’s been about eight years since the Medicine River Wildlife Centre was… Continue reading

Regional sewage line moving ahead despite concerns

Cost sharing among concerns of municipalities involved in Sylvan Lake-to-Red Deer sewage line

Red Deer family who lost everything in house fire begin rebuilding

Couple had moved into north-end home only two days before basement fire

Tory Leader Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by Maxime Bernier

MONTREAL — Andrew Scheer says he doesn’t feel betrayed by former Tory… Continue reading

WATCH: Central Alberta pharmacists decry fee reductions for services

Government funding cuts to Alberta pharmacies will hurt health care, declared about… Continue reading

Supreme Court ruling corks B.C. vintners’ hopes for free trade of Canadian wines

VANCOUVER — The Supreme Court of Canada ruling upholding interprovincial trade laws… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong settles $100M lawsuit with U.S. government

Disgraced cyclist reached $5-million settlement with sponsor U.S. Postal Service

Montreal couple hoping city lets them keep beloved pet pig named Babe

MONTREAL — Babe the pig spends his days sleeping, going for walks… Continue reading

WATCH: This is a story about a stoned raccoon at a fire station

An unusual pair showed up in the pre-dawn hours at Fire Station… Continue reading

Plastic makers’ credit ratings may be hit by pollution rules

Plastic packaging makers may be less credit-worthy in the future as governments… Continue reading

Black Press Media acquires two new Alaska newspapers

New Media Investment Group to acquire the Akron (OH) Beacon Journal while Black Press Media takes on daily newspapers in Juneau and Kenai Alaska

‘Dining of the future’: vegan restaurant boom fuelled by meat eaters

Foodies say Canada is in the midst of a renaissance in plant-based… Continue reading

Northbound QEII traffic to return to northbound lanes as contruction continues south of Red Deer

Though the Hwy 2/Gaetz Avenue interchange still has months until completion, some… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month