Too early to lay blame in deadly train-van crash: Sask. RCMP
Published Friday, August 10, 2012 6:41AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, August 10, 2012 10:56PM EDT
Saskatchewan RCMP say it’s too soon to tell whether a 15-year-old driver’s inexperience is to blame for a collision between a camper van and a train that killed four people, including children.
Cpl. Rob King said a 15-year-old Alberta boy, who had a valid learner’s permit, was driving the camper van when the crash occurred Thursday evening at an uncontrolled train crossing near Broadview, about 150 kilometres east of Regina.
“We've had lots of people get struck by trains or run into trains from a variety of ages, so to blame age or driver inexperience in this incident is premature," King said at a news conference Friday.
"I think we need to ... wait until the investigation is complete before we can even consider laying any type of blame or type of cause."
Police did not release any names, but Glen Morrison told The Canadian Press that his 11-year-old granddaughter, Bailey, and seven-year-old grandson, Roy, from Turner Valley, Alta., were killed in the crash.
"This thing hasn't hardly hit us yet," Morrison said. "We've had some family in, and friends, and we can't realize that this has happened. Probably about the middle of the night or tomorrow some time it'll hit us that this is a fact."
Morrison said the children's mother, Vicki, was a passenger in the van and was injured in the crash. Her 15-year-old son, Luke, was behind the wheel, he said.
Police said the teen was airlifted to a hospital in Regina with serious injuries. There was no word on his condition Friday.
King said the camper van turned south off the Trans-Canada Highway, which runs parallel to the train tracks, when it was struck by a westbound Canadian Pacific train travelling about 80 kilometres an hour.
"(The train) T-boned the van kind of right broadside and it was completely destroyed,” he said.
Two other people in the camper, an 11-year-old Alberta girl and an 18-year-old girl from Saskatchewan, were also killed. They were not related to the family they were travelling with or to each other, police said.
Morrison remembered his grandson Roy as a “real vibrant boy.” His sister Bailey was “a young, fine looking girl, musical and very artistic,” the grandfather said.
Morrison also said his son Brian, the children’s father, died a few years ago.
Friends said the Morrison family was well known in their small community.
“If the family can only know that our hearts and prayers go out to them and if there is anything that we can do, this community will bind together to do it,” Turner Valley Mayor Kelly Tuck told CTV Calgary.
The RCMP said the railway and the Transportation Safety Board will examine the train’s recording devices as part of their investigation.
Because of the extensive damage to the camper van, King said police may never know if there were any mechanical problems with the vehicle.
A full report on the crash could take a minimum of three months, he said.
With a report from CTV Calgary