A Canadian National Railway (CN) train moving at a speed of roughly 64 kilometres per hour collided with a truck and low-bed trailer that got stuck while travelling across train tracks in Blue River Jan. 14.
There were no injuries as a result of the collision, which occurred at about 7:30 a.m. Saturday morning, noted Clearwater RCMP detachment commander Sgt. Grant Simpson.
Simpson said at the time of the collision, the truck was stuck due to snowy and slippery conditions. Witnesses told police the train showed no sign of slowing down when approaching the stuck vehicle.
After CN Railway police contacted Clearwater RCMP about the collision, Const. Van Woudenberg arrived and found the 2021 Kenworth truck was separated from its trailer as a result of the impact. The road conditions surrounding the rail crossing were “terrible,” the constable reported.
The train was continuing on its route to Jasper, Alta. when Van Woudenberg arrived on scene.
CN Rail, Ledcor and Transmountain Pipeline management were all on scene, noted Simpson, adding the locomotive had extensive damage on the front. The cattle guard and two front wheels were destroyed and would require a crane to move.
“The locomotive had sheered right through the boom of the lowboy and the head of the trailer, leaving the truck … on one side of the rail line and the trailer and the lowboy on the other side,” noted Simpson.
The driver of the truck was a Camrose, Alta. man. He told police he hadn’t chained up prior to the rail crossing, had gotten stuck halfway through, activated the differential locks, put chains on the front axle tires, but was still stuck when the train had come.
During the investigation, Simpson said Const. Van Woudenberg noted that the driver had bloodshot eyes during the statement and there seemed to be the smell of liquor coming off him as well.
Despite this, because well over three hours had passed, no breath demand was read. CN Rail Police have jurisdiction, so file number and information passed on to them. Their investigation is ongoing, he said.
In his weekly police report, Simpson noted Clearwater RCMP responded to 43 calls for service during the second week in January.