'Panicked' six-year-old girl one of two dead in Calgary transit train accidents

By The Canadian Press
October 15, 2018 - 10:45am

CALGARY — A six-year-old girl on her way to school was one of two people who died Monday in separate accidents involving Calgary's light-rail transit trains.

The girl was hit by a train at an intersection near the Somerset-Bridlewood LRT station in the city's south end about 8 am. She was rushed to hospital where she died from her injuries.

"It appears she was attempting to walk to school. There's some gates there, obviously to warn pedestrians that they're coming to tracks. She did mostly cross the tracks and then the rail arm started to come down and the signal started to go," said CPS Sgt. Chris Agren.

"I'm assuming that it panicked her a little bit."

Agren said the driver of the train sounded the horn in an attempt to have her clear the track and tried to slow the train down.

"Unfortunately, for some reason, she didn't continue crossing but she doubled back the way she had come and ran in front of the train," he said.

"It did hit her and pushed her away from the train but the injuries she sustained from it, she succumbed to at the Children's Hospital."

Agren said police escorted the ambulance to help it get to the Alberta Children's Hospital.

"She died in hospital. We found (her) mom and dad. They were separate so we had two separate police vehicles escort them up there right away."

Agren said it's not clear if the girl was walking directly to school or was on her way to catch a bus. He's also not sure if it was a regular routine for her to walk along the busy roadway.

Police say a traffic reconstruction team is on the scene, which is normal in accidents involving the CTrain.

Calgary Transit called the girl's death a terrible tragedy.

"Our hearts and prayers are with the little girl's family," it said in a brief emailed statement.

Later Monday afternoon, police say a man was hit by a train as it was approaching an LRT platform in the downtown. Police released few details but said the victim was pronounced dead at the scene. 

Alberta Premier Rachel Notley called the girl's death "every parent's nightmare."

"My heart breaks for the family and loved ones of this little girl and I knew we are all sending them our love," she said in a post on Twitter.

"My heart goes out to this little girl's family, friends and all Calgarians who are mourning her loss today," United Conservative Leader Jason Kenney posted on Twitter.

— Follow @BillGraveland on Twitter

Bill Graveland, The Canadian Press

Study shows parasite spread by cats threatens Quebec's endangered belugas