'I was being dragged': Warning from teen who lost her leg trying to hop a train
Published Wednesday, July 6, 2016 8:38AM EDT
A Calgary girl who lost part of her leg after trying to board a moving train is hoping to deter others from attempting the dangerous stunt.
On May 20, Kennedy Rhodes made a risky decision that changed her life forever. The 13-year-old was with some friends on CP Rail property in central Calgary when she tried to hop onto a moving freight train.
It was Rhodes’ first attempt at train-hopping, a practice officials say is happening with more frequency. Unfortunately the stunt doesn’t always end well.
When Rhodes attempted to hop onto the train, the vehicle was going “a bit too fast,” she recalled in an interview with CTV Calgary.
“I couldn’t really run to keep up, so I was being dragged.”
After her legs got caught under the wheels, the teen says she knew immediately that she was seriously injured.
Rhodes’ mom, Morgan Gladu, said getting the call that her daughter was injured was “just the worst moment of my life.”
Trespassing incidents involving freight trains have spiked this year in Alberta.
According to Transport Canada, there have been 5 recorded cases from January to May. One person died, and three others had serious injuries. The Transportation Safety Board reported 50 “trespasser-versus-train” incidents across Canada last year. So far in 2016, there have already been 30 such incidents across the country.
CP Rail deputy chief Al Sauve says people must remember how large and imposing the trains are.
“They don’t stop on a dime, even when they’re moving at a very slow rate,” Sauve said.
Despite the accident, Rhodes has a positive outlook on life. And she hopes others learn from her mistake.
“I’m kind of glad it happened, I’m a stronger person for it now, and I have learned, I think, some life lessons from it,” she said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help Rhodes and her family with medical bills and household expenses.
With a report by CTV Calgary’s Kathy Le