'It blows my mind': Father of girl killed at rail crossing upset over lack of changes to improve safety

'It blows my mind': Father of girl killed at rail crossing upset over lack of changes to improve safety

Not good enough — that’s the message from the father of an 11-year-old girl killed at a pedestrian railway crossing.

Randy Brown can’t bring his daughter Kharma back, but he wants to make sure no other child dies like she did.

The collision happened in Ste. Anne, about 40 minutes southeast of Winnipeg on Sept. 15, 2017.

A report from the Transportation Safety Board of Canada sent to the town found more can be done to make the crossing safer.

“It blows my mind. It’s frustrating,” said Brown. “I feel that is a negligent oversight. How could you possibly perceive children are not going to use it on their bicycles.”

“Nothing has changed. No extra signage. Nothing has been done at all. It’s still in the exact same condition as when my daughter lost her life. That is not acceptable to me.

The TSB said while the crossing was regulation compliant as a pedestrian crossing, it’s not designed for cyclists.

It found Kharma either saw the train and didn’t allow enough time to cross, or didn’t see it at all.

Train crossing one

Train crossing two

It also found nearby bungalows and vegetation obstructed the view on the south end of the crossing (pictured), the same side Kharma was coming from when she was hit.

Shorltly after the collision the mayor of Ste. Anne told CTV News the crossing was designed to prevent a tragedy. Richard Pelletier said Monday in a phone call with CTV News, the town plans to have a meeting to make the crossing safer for pedestrians and cyclists.

The maximum train speed at the crossing is about 100 km/h. The report found the train that hit Kharma was travelling about 60 km/h.

CN Rail tells CTV News it’s been discussing safety at the public crossing with town officials and those discussions are ongoing.

The report suggests ways to enhance safety  including putting in barriers that force cyclists to dismount, widening the crossing to improve vision, as well as adding lights, bells and gates.

In the report, the TSB said, “It may be prudent for the parties involved to fully re-evaluate the crossing design using a more appropriate design vehicle that may include cyclists.”

Published at Tue, 14 Nov 2017 20:17:00 -0500