Man dies on the tracks in Slave Lake

Joe McWilliams

Lakeside Leader

A Slave Lake man died on Aug. 28 after a CN train passing through the community hit him. According to acting fire chief Alex Pavcek the man was alive, moving and talking when firefighters extricated him, but he died later that night.

The incident happened in the vicinity of the bridge across Sawridge Creek, at about midnight. Firefighters arrived to find the train stopped, and the man trapped under the third engine.

“It took a lot of maneuvering,” to get him out, Pavcek says.

The man was lying between the rails. There was no way to get him out over the rail from that spot, Pavcek says and only eight or 10 inches of clearance under the engines. However, firefighters managed to get him out eventually on a backboard and into a waiting ambulance.

For reasons that are not clear, the train remained on the spot for about three more hours, blocking Hwy. 88 and the 7th St. access into and out of the Springwood subdivision.

The RCMP news release on the afternoon of Aug. 29 did not add much to the story. The incident happened at 11:15 p.m. on the 28th; the man was pronounced dead at hospital approximately three hours after being rescued from under the train; his name is not being released for the time being. The cause of the collision is under investigation.

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