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

Graduation rates in Hope have increased by almost 11 per cent since last year

Six-year graduation rates in SD 78 have risen from 63.7 to 74.4 per cent

Hope Food Bank struggling after dismal outpouring at annual Holly Days fundraiser

Food Bank may have to reduce hours, services if lost revenue isn’t made up

Students in Hope are ‘100 Days Smarter’

Coquihalla Elementary rang in 100 days of school in a concrete, yet creative manner

Chilliwack’s Chief Ernie Crey a firm pipeline supporter

Crey lauds NEB focus on marine safety in his role representing Indigenous oversight committee

Measles case confirmed within Fraser Health region

One case within Fraser Health is related to the outbreak in three Vancouver schools.

VIDEO: Iconic ‘snow cone’ takes shape at B.C. park near Clearwater

Snow cone forming at Wells Gray Provincial Park one that would make Disney’s Queen Elsa proud

Pink Shirt Day a reminder to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before posting on social media

‘Be Kind’ message on shirts sold for anti-bullying activities of Wednesday, Feb. 27

A ‘warm embrace’ for grieving parents at funeral of seven young fire victims

Mourners offered love and support to Kawthar Barho, mother of seven children

Indigenous leaders, politicians say Trans Mountain report flawed

The National Energy Board has endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline a second time

UPDATE: Reports of rashes prompt closure of all Harrison Hot Springs pools

Public pool available after Fraser Health shut down all five mineral pools until further notice

Legislation to protect B.C. farmland comes into effect

Regulations enhance food security, encourage long-term farming

Have you heard the legend of Shuswaggi, the Shuswap Lake monster?

Witness accounts as old as 1904, and as recent as 2018, place a creature in the lake’s depths

UPDATE: B.C. ticket holder winner of $25.9-million Lotto Max jackpot

Next draw set for Mar. 1 with an estimated jackpot of $10 million

B.C.-based ‘Team Tardi’ brings home gold in junior curling worlds

In a 9-4 victory over Switzerland, a Langley-based curling team earned its 2nd straight world title

Most Read