EDMONTON — Police have ruled that the deaths of two 19-year-olds who were struck by an Edmonton light-rail transit train were not criminal.
Some witnesses had reported that the young man and his girlfriend had been fighting and that he pinned her to the tracks as the train roared over them.
The homicide unit was called in to investigate, along with the medical examiner’s office and the city’s transportation department.
Staff. Sgt. David Spiers says officers can’t comment on the evidence gathered and won’t speculate as to why the two were on the tracks.
Jamie Kootenay and Delia Papastesis had been dating for four years and had both attended a public school geared toward aboriginal studies.
Kootenay died at the scene, while his girlfriend died later in hospital after rescue crews pulled her from the undercarriage.
The two were in a group of six young people walking and running around the tracks after dark Nov. 9 near Commonwealth Stadium.
There were conflicted reports about what happened. One witness said Kootenay had been chasing Papastesis down the track just before the accident.
But a friend who was there at the time denied that Kootenay pushed her to the ground and held her until the train ran over them.
“Jamie wouldn’t hold down Delia like that,” Nolan Shone told one media outlet. “They both were happy-go-lucky people. They were in love with each other.”
The train was carrying 50 people and had just left the station.