Railroad looking into fatal crash sitePublished 10:58am Friday, April 8, 2011
Source: Inquiry should have come right after crash
Railroad officials spent Thursday morning recreating a truck-train crash in which an 18-year-old Pacelli student died in early February.
T.J. Nelson, spokesman for Canadian Pacific Railway, said officials were gathering measurement data “to ensure we have the best information for the investigation.” However, Nelson wouldn’t comment on the investigation or say why the crash sight is under investigation.
“We’re going through and just seeing the circumstances that led up to the incident,” Nelson said. “I can’t comment on the investigation. … I can let you know we were out there today reconstructing and doing measurements.”
Click here for a video.
A conductor who works for a different railroad company who wishes to remain unnamed said accident reconstructions should take place the day after an accident happens. While some accidents are not reconstructed because they are so cut and dry, he said this one should have been done immediately.
“I think they screwed up so bad that they had to do the re-enactment yesterday,” he said Friday morning. “With these circumstances, they should have re-enacted that the next day. It needs to be the closest situation possible to when it happened. There isn’t even snow left anymore.”
When asked why the reconstruction is being done more than two months after the crash, Nelson said he does not know when accident re-creations are normally done or why this one is happening two months after the fact.
Mary Lewison, the mother of the boy who was killed, said she spoke with railroad officials at the crash scene Thursday. She said the railroad officials would only tell her they were conducting “routine surveying.”
Joe Lewison was killed on Feb. 1 when his pickup collided with a train just off Highway 218 near County Road 4. There are no lights and gates at the crossing, although Sheriff Terese Amazi said at the time of the action that icy conditions likely played a role.
Chief Deputy Mark May said he was unaware that Canadian Pacific officials would be investigating the crash scene. May said the Sheriff’s Department investigation will likely be complete once it receives toxicology results from Joe’s body. Toxicology tests are done in all cases involving a fatality, May said.
Amazi was not available for comment Friday morning.