B.C. ambulance carrying injured cyclist stuck half an hour waiting for train

Regulations say crossings have to be cleared immediately for emergency vehicles

An injured cyclist waited half an hour for a train to clear the tracks at Kennedy Road in Pitt Meadows on Sunday before the ambulance carrying her was able to continue to Royal Columbian Hospital.

That has Pitt Meadows Fire and Rescue Chief Don Jolley wanting answers and an explanation about why the track was blocked for so long.

The woman was part of a cycling event that morning and crashed into the ditch, about three metres deep. A fellow cyclist jumped into the ditch to help the woman, who was laying in mud, unable to move because of her injuries.

Firefighters used a basket and ropes to pull her to safety. But when ambulance crews tried to get her to hospital, they couldn’t cross the tracks because of the railway traffic.

“It’s very frustrating,” Jolley said.

Firefighters were trying to get the nearby crews to clear the crossing, but to no avail.

“It’s a good thing she didn’t have very serious injuries,” Jolley added.

“The frustrating part is we were right there beside the crossing. It’s not like they didn’t see us. They absolutely saw us all there.”

Ridge Meadows RCMP were also on scene trying to get the train to move.

Jolley said the track was blocked for at least half an hour.

“Very frustrating and disappointing and witnessed by dozens of other cyclists, racers and members of the public that were sitting there.”

He said crews initially cleared the crossing, then blocked it again with a train shunting back and forth.

“Which basically left the ambulance unable to leave for almost 30 minutes. It’s impossible that they didn’t know we were there.”

Jolley said he’s talking to Transport Canada about the delay. According to Transport Canada’s grade crossing regulations, trains have to clear a crossing immediately for emergency vehicles.

Pitt Meadows Mayor John Becker said such incidents don’t happen often.

“Something has gone seriously wrong with what are usually reasonably well-working protocols. They’re pretty good with emergency vehicles.”

He’ll be asking for a city staff report on the incident.

The federal government recently announced $56 million in funding for four railway crossings in Pitt Meadows and Port Coquitlam, including an overpass the Kennedy Road, but major funding gaps remain.

He said there should be emergency contact numbers at each crossing to allow responders to ask the crossing to be cleared.

Canadian Pacific said Tuesday it’s looking into the issue but offered no further comment.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

(THE NEWS/files) Crossing at Kennedy Road in Pitt Meadows.

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Chemainus family pledges $50,000 to Chemainus Theatre Crisis Relief Fund

The Hilton family pledged $50,000 toward a matched fund. If fully matched, it will raise $100,000

Local woman makes face masks to raise funds for LRCA Food Bank

Cheryl Lowrence made 30 face masks and raised $326.25 for the food bank

Ladysmith family creates music video to show appreciation for community in the face of COVID-19

Sheila Richards, 77 is the star of new music video celebrating community kindness in Ladysmith

Burning complaints prompt regulation reminder from North Oyster Volunteer Fire Department

NOVFD has responded to at least 10 burning complaints in since April 1

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Dump truck in Nanaimo snags power lines, snaps hydro pole, crashes

No injuries in incident Monday morning on Old Victoria Road

Ferry sailings scheduled once again at Nanaimo’s Departure Bay terminal

BC Ferries announces that resumption of service June 3 includes four daily round trips

Island Health signs working agreement to turn former Comox hospital into a ‘dementia village’

Island Health has signed a project development agreement with Providence Living to… Continue reading

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

High tech fish transport system set up to ‘whoosh’ salmon past Big Bar landslide

Fish will spend roughly 20 seconds inside the system, moving at roughly 20 metres per second

Trudeau to seek 10 days of paid sick leave for Canadian workers, says talks are ongoing

Paid sick leave is key to keeping COVID-19 spread under control, prime minister says

Snowbirds jets will not be leaving Kamloops, just yet

The Snowbirds have been in Kamloops since May 17 when a plane crashed killing Capt. Jennifer Casey

Most Read