NEWS

Teen, 3 Kids Killed In Train-Van Crash From Alberta, Saskatchewan

08/10/2012 03:22 EDT | Updated 10/09/2012 05:12 EDT
AP
Surveyors work next to Canadian Pacific Rail trains which are parked on the train tracks in Toronto on Wednesday, May 23, 2012. Canada's labor minister said Wednesday the government will introduce legislation if necessary to end a strike at Canadian Pacific railway, which has forced the suspension of its freight service in Canada and the United States. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Nathan Denette)

The three children and one teenager killed Thursday in a train-van crash near Broadview, Sask., were from communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the RCMP says.

Dead are:

A boy, seven, and a girl, 11, both from Turner Valley, Alta.

An 11-year-old girl, from Chestermere, Alta.

An 18-year-old woman from the Whitewood, Sask., area.

Injured in the crash, which involved a Canadian Pacific train, was the driver of a camper-van, a 15-year-old-boy, and his mother, 42, both from Turner Valley. She's also the mother of the two children from Turner Valley who died.

A makeshift memorial was set up at a school in Turner Valley. (Mary-Catherine McIntosh/CBC)

In that town, a makeshift memorial had been placed on a wall of the local school.

"You will be missed Bailey, Roy and Clarrisa" the memorial reads.

CBC News spoke to people in the community who identified the three. They are siblings Bailey and Roy Morrison, aged 11 and seven, and Clarissa Morrison, 11, a friend of the family who happened to have the same last name.

Bailey and Roy's father died a few years ago in a farming accident, CBC News was told.

Clarissa Morrison had recently moved to Chestermere, from Turner Valley.

The unidentified 18-year-old woman who died worked at the Whitewood Co-Op store.

"She was a beautiful, good-spirited girl. She would do anything for anyone," Angelina Merkel, a co-worker, told CBC News Friday. "The world is just not the same without her."

The group from Alberta were in Saskatchewan to attend a rodeo.

A spokesman for the railway company, Kevin Hrysak said there were two employees on the freight train at the time of crash. They were not hurt.

"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the family and friends of those involved in this unfortunate incident," he said.

The crash happened at an uncontrolled rail crossing about 150 kilometres east of Regina.

RCMP and emergency medical crews were called around 6:45 p.m. CST to the crash site on a grid road south of the Trans-Canada Highway, just east of Broadview and about 150 kilometres east of Regina.

Police haven't said what might have caused the crash at the uncontrolled rail crossing. It was during daylight hours and the weather was clear at the time.

According to RCMP, the van was going south on the rural road, and the train was westbound.

"The train could have been proceeding in the blind spot of the driver," Cpl. Rob King, a spokesman for the RCMP in Saskatchewan, said Friday. "Maybe he just didn't look. It's impossible to determine fault."

In Saskatchewan, it's legal for a 15-year-old to drive with a learner's permit provided there is an adult in the vehicle.

RCMP said the driver had a valid learner's permit, issued in Alberta. King added it was too early to say if driver experience played a role in the crash.

According to King, the freight train was moving at about 80 km/h at the time of the crash.

A team with the Transportation Safety Board of Canada was on its way to Broadview to investigate.

Police said the 15-year-old had severe injuries and was transported by an air ambulance helicopter to Regina. His mother was taken to Broadview for treatment, but the extent of her injuries was not disclosed.

The head of a national rail safety organization, Operation LifeSaver, told CBC News Friday that drivers need more education about the dangers of uncontrolled level crossings.

"Quite frankly, when you go through drivers' ed or training they don't spend as much time as they need to go over what can happen at railway crossings and the dangers they can have," Dan Ditota said.