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Friend of teen fatally struck by train in Calgary calls it ‘a stupid mistake’

Click to play video: 'Calgary teen fatally struck by train was about to graduate'
Calgary teen fatally struck by train was about to graduate
WATCH: Students at Bowness High School are grieving one of their classmates who was struck and killed by a by a freight train. Tomasia DaSilva reports. – May 29, 2024

Graduation day turned into a day of grief for the family and friends of a teen struck by a train in northwest Calgary on Tuesday afternoon.

The 17-year-old died after he was hit by a CPKC train in the community of Bowness.

The Calgary Police Service said the incident happened on a set of train tracks east of 85th Street Northwest near a bridge.

“It was all just a stupid mistake,” Sunny, the victim’s friend, told Global News.

Sunny and the victim, both of whom Global News is not identifying out of respect for the family, said he was part of a group of teens celebrating their upcoming high school graduation.

They had gathered at the Bow River, when three of them broke away from the group.

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What happened next will haunt him, he said.

“They just wanted to cross the bridge. They didn’t see the train coming,” he added. “We started yelling at them: ‘The train is coming!’ And two of them ran away.”

“He (victim) got his foot caught. He fell. The train hit him.”

Click to play video: 'Global News Hour at 6 Calgary: May 28'
Global News Hour at 6 Calgary: May 28

Area resident John Murray didn’t see what happened but he did hear the commotion.

“I just heard the train slam on its emergency brakes,” he said. “A lot of squealing.”

Murray said he feared the worst and that someone had been hurt jumping off the bridge — for fun.

“Daily, I’m here and there’s usually people jumping off the bridge,” he said. “It’s pretty sad.”

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A teen was fatally struck by a train in the northwest Calgary community of Bowness on Tuesday, May 28, 2024.

Neighbour Sarah Gill said she has seen the same thing on many occasions.

“I often see teenagers on the tracks. I’ve even seen people try to actually climb to the top of the bridge.”

Click to play video: 'Teen dies after being struck by freight train in northwest Calgary'
Teen dies after being struck by freight train in northwest Calgary

Kevin, who didn’t want his last name used, agreed, adding the practice has been going on for decades — especially at this time of the year.

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“Come graduation, it’s like a rite of passage,” he said. “So every graduation, you’re going to find kids down here.”

Rail company, CPKC, has put up locked fences and signs to try to deter this practice.

“The tragic accident Tuesday on the railway bridge remains under investigation,” Patrick Waldron, CPKC spokesperson, told Global News Wednesday evening.

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