Pedestrian killed by CTrain was likely distracted by cell, headphones: police
Published Wednesday, February 22, 2017 9:59AM EST
Police say a man who was fatally hit by a light rail transit train Monday in Calgary was likely distracted by his cell phone and headphones at the time of the accident.
The 30-year-old man was killed after being hit by a CTrain at Calgary’s Whitehorn LRT Station around 8 p.m. on Monday.
Sgt. Colin Foster told reporters that, after hearing witness evidence, police believe “the pedestrian himself was distracted by his phone.
“He did have headphones on, so that would seem to indicate that he was completely oblivious to the presence of the trains,” Foster added.
A teenage girl who didn’t want to give her name told CTV Calgary she was just steps away from the man when he was hit by the train.
She said he “didn’t bother looking around him” and just started walking when he was hit by the northbound train.
“I saw that the train was pretty close already, so I knew he was going to get hit, so I just looked away,” she told CTV Calgary. “It was too close to even just say anything.”
The crossing features several signs near the tracks, and when a train departs from the Whitehorn station, or when a train approaches, barriers lower on the street to stop cars. Lights also flash and bells chime at the crosswalk.
Those who have dealt with these deaths in the past are frustrated at the unnecessary loss of life.
“I honestly don’t know what more anybody can do to raise awareness to stop crossing without looking,” Foster said.
It’s not uncommon for people to cross while wearing headphones. A State Farm Insurance survey recently found that four out of 10 people admitted to distracted walking.
“When I’m crossing I usually do wear headphones but I always make sure I’m keeping one (off the ear) just to be aware of the cars and the train,” pedestrian Fazil Dhalwani told CTV Calgary.
Two years ago Albert Opoku had a close encounter with a CTrain, and understands how someone can lose their life.
“I didn’t hear any sound the train was coming and I didn’t even check the lights, so as soon as I crossed the railway, the train just passed me and everyone was shouting at me, ‘Do you want to kill yourself?’
“Since then I never use headphones,” Opoku said.
Police say the train’s speed was not a factor in Monday’s accident, and they are reviewing surveillance footage as they investigate. They are asking any witnesses to contact them.
With a report by CTV Calgary’s Brad MacLeod