BNSF tracks just south the 24 Avenue walkway the morning after a teenager was killed when he was struck by a passenger train. (Aaron Hinks photo)

UPDATE: Teenager dead after being struck by passenger train in South Surrey

It happened shortly after 10 p.m. in Crescent Beach

A teenager is dead after being struck by a passenger train in Crescent Beach Wednesday evening.

Police confirmed a male youth was hit shortly after 10 p.m. and was dead when officers arrived.

The victim’s age and name haven’t been released at this time, however, Peace Arch News has learned he was a 15-year-old student at a South Surrey high school, and an avid athlete.

“Surrey RCMP is currently investigating the matter and the investigation is still in its early stages,” noted an RCMP release. “There are multiple witnesses that are being interviewed in order to create a clear picture of the incident.”

According to one witness, the victim was among a group of around 50 teens who had gathered on the beach near the Christopherson Stairs, which lead to the waterfront from the foot of 24 Avenue. He was reportedly crossing the tracks towards the beach when he was hit.

The impact of the train threw the teen “as if he was hit by a car,” the witness said.

Police tape near the stairs leading up to 24 Avenue. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)

Police, firefighters, paramedics and search-and-rescue crews responded, along with the Coast Guard Hovercraft. The coroner also attended.

As word of the incident spread on social media, parents of some of the teens – reportedly including those of the victim – arrived at the scene.

Thursday morning, a bouquet of flowers was placed on a rock at the entrance of Christopherson Stairs, and a green lei hung on a bush near the tracks, next to a black camping chair. In the bush behind the chair, a smashed cellphone with a photo of two teens on the back was found by a PAN reporter shortly after 8 a.m.

Two RCMP investigators met with PAN at the scene to retrieve the phone and take a statement. Police took multiple photographs of where the phone was located and a nearby fire pit.

Wednesday evening, a passenger aboard the Amtrak Cascades 518 told the North Delta Reporter the northbound train came to an abrupt stop at around 10 p.m., just after crossing the Canada/U.S. border.

Evan Hagedorn – a recently graduated journalism student who interned with the Reporter this spring – said an Amtrak employee told passengers that there was an emergency on the tracks.

Emergency crews could be seen outside the train shortly after, and passengers were provided with a more detailed update roughly half an hour later, Hagedorn said.

“They came over the speaker and then they said that there was a group of teenagers on the beach and then a group of them on the tracks, and we had struck one of them. They were on the tracks and then we struck one of them and then that’s why we were stopped,” he said.

A chair and lei found Thursday morning near the scene of where a teenager was struck by a passenger train. (Aaron Hinks/Peace Arch News)

Hagedorn said that in a subsequent update at 11:24 p.m., passengers were informed that the coroner was en route, and that the train’s engineer, conductor and witnesses to the accident had been interviewed by investigators.

The train was delayed 4½ hours.

Many commenters on Facebook have expressed condolences to the teen’s family, along with “prayers for engineers on this train as they’ll suffer for (a) very long time from PTSD over this accident that wasn’t their fault.”

“Unfortunate for everyone involved,” writes Nolan Val.

There is also speculation as to why the teen was on the tracks, however, police have only commented that “circumstances of the incident are still under investigation.”

BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas told PAN the tragedy is the first train fatality on BNSF tracks in B.C. this year. There have been nine in Washington State.

“This is the first of the year in British Columbia,” Melonas said Thursday. “That’s one too many.”

Crews have been “aggressively” patrolling the tracks between White Rock and Crescent Beach, he said, noting 15 violation tickets for trespassing were issued in the two days prior to the tragedy.

“We’re going to be out again today,” Melonas said Thursday.

“We’re going to be aggressively patrolling, not to be bullies, but to save lives.

“These trains can’t stop.”

Anyone with information regarding Wednesday’s fatality is asked to contact the Surrey General investigation Unit at 604-599-0502 or call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477, quoting file number 2018-96971.

– files from Aaron Hinks



editor@northdeltareporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

B.C. sockeye returns drop as official calls 2019 ‘extremely challenging’

Federal government says officials are seeing the same thing off Alaska and Washington state

Burns Lake local events

Garden Fresh Nutrition Workshop Jess Hart, Holistic Nutritionist, will lead a garden… Continue reading

Masked bandit spotted in Burns Lake

A raccoon was found dead on Highway 16, about three kilometres east… Continue reading

Pave the way for Burns Lake

Labourers work on the downtown portion of the Highway 16 repaving project.… Continue reading

Men charged with assault on Southside

Two men face charges following a violent incident on the Southside on… Continue reading

New police force in Surrey must avoid VPD, RCMP errors made in Pickton case: Oppal

Boots are scheduled to be on the ground by spring 2021

Conan turns to the Property Brothers for tips on buying Greenland

Jonathan Scott suggests removing glaciers and mountains to bring in ‘more natural light’

Forests minister visits B.C. town hit by multiple mill shutdowns

A third of Mackenzie turns out for rally, not much to cheer about

B.C. music teacher accused of sexual misconduct involving girls

Police believe other victims could be out there after the arrest of Lamar Victor Alviar

B.C. family stranded in Croatia desperate to come home

Funds being raised to bring back mom and two children

B.C. man on trial for daughters’ murders an intruder broke in

Andrew Berry takes stand in his defense for December 2017 deaths of young daughters

‘Plenty of time for a deal’: Teachers’ union expects kids back in school on Sept. 3

BCTF says class size, composition at the heart of the issue

Province funds new shuttle buses for 13 B.C. senior centres

Activity, socializing helps maintain health, Adrian Dix says

Most Read