Man’s death at rural railway crossing prompts calls for safety changes
The death of a man killed in a weekend train collision has prompted calls for more safety features at rural railway crossings.
Outside La Broquerie, a railway crossing without arms or lights at a hill with trees blocking the view of oncoming trains is one of many rural railway crossings that is prompting concerns.
“When I have grandkids getting to start driving next year, it’s something that really frightens me,” said Cyndy Peters, whose grandchildren live near the crossing.
At another crossing south of La Broquerie, RCMP say a 42-year-old man from Richer, Man. died after his vehicle and a train collided Sunday.
The crossing did not have arms or lights. Mounties believe slippery conditions were a factor.
The man who died has been identified as Brent Wery, who is being remembered as a volunteer firefighter and dedicated public servant.
Condolence posts online from the organizations Wery worked and volunteered for, including the Richer Fire Department, recall his giving nature.
“The most giving type of individual you’d probably ever meet,” David Reith, the deputy fire chief with the Richer Fire Department, told CTV News. “The true give-you-the-shirt-off-his-back kind of guy. He’d do absolutely anything to help anybody.”
Ivan Normandeau, the reeve of La Broquerie, said the rural municipality tries to make the crossings as safe as possible.
“Our biggest thing is people’s safety,” he said. “As soon as we have a snowfall, obviously, the first thing we do is clear the snow and right after the snow is cleared then we make sure that we sand all intersections, which includes railway crossings.”
Normandeau said there are six railway crossings without lights or arms in the rural municipality. He said Transport Canada has rules on which crossings get the added safety equipment.
“It’s not our decision. It is up to Transport Canada. I believe they will pay 80 per cent for lights and then we pay 20 per cent, but it’s their decision depending on how much traffic there is.”
Normandeau said most people in the community know where the crossings are, and incidents are rare.
He said there have been no complaints about the crossing where the fatal collision happened.
CTV News has reached out to Transport Canada, but has not yet heard back.
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