Two teens die in 'after-hours' crash on Calgary bobsled track
Emily Chan, CTVNews.ca
Published Saturday, February 6, 2016 9:35AM EST
Last Updated Saturday, February 6, 2016 8:08PM EST
Calgary police are investigating after two teens died and six others sustained injuries in what officials are calling an "after-hours incident" on a local luge and bobsled track.
According to a police press release, emergency crews received a call at about 1:30 a.m. on Saturday from the WinSport athletics facility, which was closed to the public at the time.
Paramedics arrived within minutes to find a group of older teenage males at the site, EMS Public Education Officer Adam Loria said on Saturday morning.
The crews declared two teens dead on the scene, and quickly moved to triage six other injured victims, Loria said.
"The first paramedic crew was able to triage and immediately call for six additional ambulances," he said. "Unfortunately they determined that two of (the teens) were deceased on scene, given the injuries they'd sustained."
Calgary Police Sgt. Paul Wyatt said police believe the teens used a store-bought toboggan to slide down the bobsled run, but crashed into a gate midway down the track.
Wyatt said officials believe the "impact of the gate" caused the injuries and fatalities.
"At this point in the investigation, it's believed at least eight teenagers, all males, entered the property after hours and used a personal sled/toboggan in an attempt to go down the bobsled track," the police press release said. "Part way down, the group hit a large gate used to separate the bobsled and luge tracks."
Wyatt said one of the teens was in critical condition, and five others were being treated for their injuries.
Loria said three were rushed to hospital in serious condition with "soft tissue injuries," and the other three were sent to hospital with minor injuries. None of the injuries are considered life threatening, Loria said.
Wyatt said the teens are suffering mental trauma from the event.
"They're severely traumatized themselves, never mind the injuries," he said.
The teens have not been identified, but Calgary Police Insp. Kelly Campbell told The Canadian Press that they are between the ages of 16 and 19.
Wyatt said police are now reviewing security footage from WinSport Canada and trying to figure out exactly what happened.
Police initially said two other teens may have witnessed in the incident, but officers later told The Canadian Press that they were no longer looking for anybody else.
Speaking at a Saturday evening press conference, WinSport Canada's CEO offered condolences for the victims' families.
“Today is the most tragic day in WinSport’s history,” WinSport president and CEO Barry Heck said. “As a father, first and foremost, my heart goes out to the [victims’] families tonight.”
Heck insisted that safety is a focus “in every aspect of our organization” and that WinSport will conduct its own review to “tell us what happened and how they were able to gain access.”
After-hours security measures include two “highly trained” security personnel on site “during the evening hours” after the park has closed, Heck said.
The track, which was built for the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics, remains closed for the time being.
With files from The Canadian Press