‘Help me,’ screamed man killed by Edmonton LRT: witness
An Edmonton woman says she heard someone call for help moments before a man was killed by an LRT train in Edmonton on Monday.
Marie Markiewicz was on the Clareview LRT station platform on Monday when the incident happened.
« As I approached the stairs leading to the top of the platform, I heard a man shouting. He was very audible, it was very loud. He was shouting ‘Help me, help me’ several times « , she told CTV News Edmonton. « That’s also the time the train started to leave. »
The Edmonton Police Department said a 40-year-old man was on the platform with a bicycle when he was struck by the train at the station around 3:20 p.m.
« As the southbound train pulled away, the train made contact with the man, causing injury, » the sergeant said. Dan Tames said in a press release.
Tames says EMS responded but the man died at the scene.
His body was found near the Edmonton Transit Service DL MacDonald Garage, approximately 700 yards away.
Markiewicz said she saw nothing but added that the train did not stop as it left the station, despite calls for help.
“His voice sounded like he was either under the train or on the other side of the train because I couldn’t see him at all. As the train pulled away I looked at the tracks to see if there was a body but saw nothing.
« The further the train went, the weaker his voice got, so I guess he may have been dragged along. »
She says she was frozen on the platform, not knowing what to do.
« I was scared for him. I just hoped he was okay.
« There were a million things going through my mind, but I just hoped he was okay. »
Minutes later, she said transit staff informed passengers that train service would be interrupted.
ETS closed the line between Clareview and Belvedere stations until 4:45 a.m. Tuesday. Buses were brought in to move passengers between stations.
“Our deepest condolences and thoughts go out to the family and friends of the person involved, as well as those affected by the incident,” said Carrie Hotton-Macdonald, branch manager of the Transit Department of the city, on Monday. Edmonton (ETS).
« We take the safety of our passengers and staff seriously and are concerned about any incident that occurs on transit property. Edmonton Transit Service will conduct an investigation with the support of the Edmonton Police Department. ‘Edmonton on that. »
Markiewicz would like to see a faster response when emergencies arise on the line.
« It was a passenger trying to get on the train, » she said.
« It calls into question the safety of the transit system and that’s what scares me. »
The union that represents ETS employees says the operator is not at fault. They are asking the city to implement new technologies on the trains to prevent similar situations from happening again.
« Our understanding is that this is a no-fault incident. It’s a failure of process, » said Steve Bradshaw of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 569, though he said that he could not go into details.
« What we would like to see is better technology that helps stop these things. »
Bradshaw says there are a variety of motion and speed sensors that could be fitted to existing trains.
“Gadgets that will detect a difference between a fixed object and a mobile for example, or speed differences between two objects. These technologies are absolutely available and can be deployed.
He says the operator was traumatized by the incident.
« Our understanding is that the city has granted paid time off to this operator. »
Bradshaw says the city’s collision investigation team took over the investigation from the ETS side. The EPS carried out a parallel investigation, but Tames announced on Tuesday that for lack of a criminal element, the investigation was closed.
“It is a terrible situation that is happening. We don’t wish that on anyone. »
« Anything we can do to make sure this doesn’t happen again in the future, we should do. »
Mayor Amarjeet Sohi also addressed the situation on Tuesday and offered his condolences to the family.
“We always continue to look for opportunities to improve our security on the LRT system. We are doing a lot of work to improve ourselves, by having more security guards available and by reviewing the physical infrastructure of LRT stations. There will therefore be an investigation into this incident and if there are things to improve, ETS will certainly look into it.
The city of Edmonton would not respond to questions from CTV News about its onboard emergency response protocols.
With files from Alison MacKinnon of CTV News Edmonton.