Twins who died in Calgary bobsled track crash remembered as top students, volunteers

Click to play video: 'Family devastated by loss of twin sons in bobsleigh incident'
Family devastated by loss of twin sons in bobsleigh incident
WATCH ABOVE: A Calgary couple say they are grieving the loss of their twin, 17-year-old sons. Jason and Shauna Caldwell say their boys, Jordan and Evan, "were bright lights to all who knew them." The boys were killed, and six other teens were injured when an after-hours visit to a bobsled track ended in tragedy. Police say the boys hopped on a plastic toboggan and went for a ride on the high speed run, but crashed into a gate on the way down. Lisa MacGregor reports – Feb 7, 2016

CALGARY –Twin brothers who died in the early hours of Saturday morning in an after-hours tobogganing run at Canada Olympic Park are being remembered as straight-A students and community leaders.

“The loss of Jordan and Evan Caldwell is being felt by many in the Calgary community, including our team here at WinSport, where the two young men worked as Hill Ambassadors during last winter’s season,” WinSport president and CEO Barry Heck said in a statement Sunday.

READ MORE: Crash at Canada Olympic Park a chance to talk to teens about risky behaviour

Twins who died in Calgary bobsled track crash remembered as top students, volunteers - image

READ MORE: Twins identified in after-hours toboggan incident at Calgary bobsled park

Family said in addition to WinSport, the boys worked for the Calgary Stampede, a seniors’ home and two refugee organizations.

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Evan was offered a full scholarship at Queen’s University last Tuesday, and planned to do an engineering degree, family said. Jordan was one of 300 Loran scholarship national finalists and had his sights set on attending Western University Ivy School of Business.

Growing up, the twins went to Rocky Mountain Calvary Chapel with their family, and also attended a weekly youth group.

The Caldwell family said they were both avid readers and loved hiking in the mountains, camping, and hacky-sacking with their dad.

“Jordan worked with a volunteer organization called CANAVUA that provides car rides and translation to refugees and new Canadians who needed to visit the doctor or dentist,” the family said in a statement.

Jordan Caldwell
Jordan Caldwell is seen in an undated handout photo. Handout

“Evan was on the frontlines of meeting the new Syria refugees. He played guitar and taught English songs at the refugee centre every week for the new arrivals.”

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The twins also worked on Samaritan’s Purse Christmas projects, and each sponsored a child with Compassion Canada.

“Family games night, ping pong, family meals and Bible devotion times were frequent in our home,” parents Jason and Shauna as well as sister Katie Caldwell said in a statement.

A funeral for the twins is set for 1 p.m. Thursday at Calgary’s Centre Street Church, 3900 2 Street N.E.

Two memorials have been set up at Canada Olympic Park for people wanting to pay their respects. One is at the top of the hill at the eastern edge of the start house deck; the second is at the ’88 Olympic plaque at the top of the stairs leading from the Frank Day Lodge parking lot to the bobsled track.

The Caldwell family first issued a statement Saturday night, saying the incident reminded them life is precious and fragile.

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“Our boys Jordan and Evan were bright lights to all who knew them,” the family said in the statement. “We are grieving their loss but confident in their new home of heaven.  Our brief 17 years with them were a gift: filled with much love, laughter, and fond memories.”

Both brothers attended Westmount School, and Evan moved to Ernest Manning High School in 2015 to take specialized engineering class.

Principal Janneke Frank remembered Grade 12 student and student council president Jordan as “an inspirational and respected leader in our school community.”

“Students and staff will remember Jordan and Evan as remarkable individuals and an unforgettable duo at Westmount,” Frank said in the statement.

Evan founded a guitar club at Westmount, and was responsible for reading the morning announcements over the PA system at Ernest Manning, family said.

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“He added fun and school spirit to the announcements each day,” family said in a statement Sunday afternoon.

The school is providing counseling for senior students who were Jordan’s closest friends.

READ MORE: Canada Olympic Park incident – what we know about the injured teens


The two brothers were pronounced dead at the scene and six others were rushed to hospital in the early hours of Saturday morning after trying to toboggan down the bobsled track at Canada Olympic Park.

READ MORE: Five things about the Calgary luge and bobsled track where two teens were killed

One teen was in hospital in critical condition as of Saturday afternoon, police said. Five others were in stable, non-life-threatening condition. EMS said earlier three of the injured were sent to hospital with serious soft tissue injuries and the remainder received minor bumps and bruises.

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The teens had broken into COP after hours and used a personal toboggan to try to go down the track. Partway down, the group hit a gate used to separate the bobsled and luge tracks, police said Saturday.

READ MORE: ‘I went head first into a lightpost’- Calgary teen paralyzed after tobogganing

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