‘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

Flooding potential within Red Deer, Lacombe and Stettler to be assessed

Federal-provincial projects will do mapping, forecasting

Red Deer Housing Authority hires local manager

Franklin Kutuadu starts as CAO in February

Olympic ski run designer creates upgrades at Canyon Ski Resort

Jeff Ihaksi says free-style and alpine ski venues are Canada Winter Games-worthy

WATCH: More than 100 protest UN migration pact, carbon tax in Red Deer

Chants of “Trudeau must go” echoed through the streets of downtown Red… Continue reading

Report: China is driving use of armed drones in Middle East

BEIRUT — The use of armed drones in the Middle East, driven… Continue reading

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

GRANDE PRAIRIE, Alta. — A rally in support of Alberta’s oil industry… Continue reading

Brazil police say faith healer has turned himself in

RIO DE JANEIRO — A celebrity faith healer accused of sexually abusing… Continue reading

B.C. hockey coach creates ‘gear library’ to remove cost barrier of sport

VANCOUVER — Nicola Froese says she has always loved playing sports, but… Continue reading

Canada’s Kim McRae finishes seventh at luge World Cup in Lake Placid, N.Y.

LAKE PLACID, N.Y. — Canada’s Kim McRae finished in seventh place at… Continue reading

Jeff Bridges to receive Cecil B. DeMille Award at Globes

LOS ANGELES — Jeff Bridges may have once been considered as one… Continue reading

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

NEW YORK — Racial justice. Obstruction of justice. Social justice. The Justice… Continue reading

Man who demolished landmark house ordered to build replica

SAN FRANCISCO — A man who illegally demolished a San Francisco house… Continue reading

Giuliani: ‘Over my dead body’ will Mueller interview Trump

WASHINGTON — With a number of probes moving closer to the Oval… Continue reading

Quebecers criticize western oil but buying more gasoline, SUVs, bigger homes: report

MONTREAL — Quebec’s premier is quick to reject “dirty” oil from Western… Continue reading

Most Read