Here we go again, another car driver ignoring railway crossing lights and bell and proceeds to crash into a train. One has little sympathy for car drivers ignoring the rules of the road, but until our provincial ministry of transportation takes seriously the fact that car drivers deliberately disobeying ‘red’ lights should be prohibited from driving for at least six months. We are getting extremely tough on ‘drink and drive’ violations but the most basic tenets of the rules of the road, stopping at red lights, is taken lightly.
Don’t blame the train, blame the car driver.
A google view of the Drinkwater railway crossing.
Train and car collide in Duncan
The Via Dayliner train and a car collided this morning at Drinkwater Road in Duncan on the train’s trip from Victoria to Courtenay.
A woman in the car was taken to hospital, with police saying it appears her injuries are not life-threatening.
The incident happened at about 9:45 a.m., as the train was heading north.
Police and other emergency personnel quickly shut down Drinkwater Road, and extracted a woman from the wrecked vehicle, which was struck on the passenger side.
Train passengers milled about outside the stopped Dayliner, shocked by the crash, as did locals who heard the commotion and came to see what was going on.
Port McNeil’s Henry Gonzalez and Lorraine Landry were sitting near the middle of the Dayliner when they made the unexpected stop.
“We heard a big thud and we got a jolt and then we looked out the window and we saw a car skidding off to the side of the pavement,” Gonzalez said.
After that people started yelling “emergency” according to another passenger.
Gonzalez said he and Landry had experienced a much more eventful journey than they had expected when they planned to “do the touristy thing” and take the train to Victoria and back.
On Thursday they made the first leg of their journey, heading to the province’s capital. During that trip the police had to board the train to remove a drunken passenger when they arrived in Nanaimo.
“My gosh, it happened fast,” said Landry of Friday morning’s crash.
Fellow passenger Michel Cortie of Montreal is a self-professed train lover who has taken trains around the world.
“This is my first ever crash though,” he said, as he looked down the track at the stopped Dayliner.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Balbir Minhas, who lives near where the accident occurred. He and friend Parmjit Manhas were alerted by sirens and came to see what was happening.
“Look at the car,” he said, surveying the caved in side of the red four-door.
Via Rail Canada’s Catherine Kaloutsky confirmed the company’s head office had learned about the collision involving a Via train and one car.
“The two buses have been ordered and confirmed for those passengers who have been stranded on the train to get them to their final destinations,” she said.
Kaloutsky said Via Rail would conduct its own internal investigation in addition to the one being done by police.