By Marianne Curtis
An early morning crash in the middle of June sent an Oakbank man to hospital, derailed a dozen railcars and caused a nearby home to be evacuated.
On June 14, St. Pierre RCMP responded to the crash which occurred around 7AM at an uncontrolled intersection along Leclare Road just west of Ile Des Chenes.
St. Pierre RCMP Staff Sergeant Ron Poirier says that that a forty-three year old man was eastbound in a garbage truck when he struck the side of a southbound train. The collision derailed a dozen railcars and flipped the truck onto its side in the ditch.
“The cargo train which had some empty cars and dangerous goods derailed and about 12 cars were affected,” explained Poirier. “The train was hauling sulphur and sulphuric acid but there was no damage to those cars and none of it leaked.”
He added that some diesel fuel did leak at the scene and the environmental impact is being assessed. A nearby home was evacuated as a precaution.
Nearby resident Charlie Lohr was having his morning coffee when he heard the screeching of the train’s brakes. When he rushed out the door he saw the derailment as it took place.
“I rushed to the scene and found the garbage truck submerged in about five feet of water and bulrushes in a ditch,” stated Lohr. “I feared the worst until I saw him move – then I pulled him out of the water while an engineer from the train rushed over with an emergency kit.”
The driver, an employee of Johnson Waste was transported to hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries.
The collision was investigated by RCMP with assistance from the Canadian Pacific Police Service (CPPS), a private police force enforcing safety and policing along Canadian Pacific Railway properties and rail lines.