A man from Edmonton died Tuesday afternoon after a collision involving a train and semi-trailer truck in Strathcona County.
Emergency crews were called to reports of the collision, which happened on Range Road 232 and just north of Yellowhead Trail around 1:30 p.m. on New Year’s Day.
RCMP said the semi was stopped on the rail road tracks when it was struck by an eastbound train.
“Upon arrival at the scene, it was quite apparent that it was a serious collision and unfortunately there has been a fatality,” Strathcona County RCMP Cpl. Ken Shamblaw said.
RCMP said the 48-year-old driver died at the scene. The man was the only person in the tractor trailer.
The tankers the semi was hauling were both empty at the time of the crash, RCMP said. However, contents from a fuel tank in the truck leaked, CN Rail said, but were contained and there was no risk to the public.
The collision happened at a crossing that is equipped with gates and CN said the lights which were working at the time.
“The collision was right on the tracks itself. It hit the passenger side of the cab of the tractor unit and dragged the tractor 50 metres east down the track,” Shamblaw said.
Gibson Energy, the company whose truck was involved in the crash, released a statement to Global News on Wednesday.
“We are deeply saddened by this incident and our thoughts and condolences are with the family during this difficult time,” the statement reads. “Ensuring the safety of the public and our workers is our top priority.
“We are not able to provide any details on the driver, as he was not a Gibson Energy employee. We have arranged for family support as needed.”
The company said it is providing counselling and support services through a third-party employee and family assistance program.
It will also be doing its own investigation into what happened.
“We are gathering all logbooks, training records and maintenance/inspection records and will be reviewing our procedures in concert to the official investigation results,” said Brian Radiff, communications manager for Gibson Energy.
RCMP, CN and CN police are investigating the cause of the collision.
“We don’t know the reason why the tractor was there. As you can see, the lights and bells and whistles [are] fully operational on both sides, so that’ll be determined in the investigation of what happened. Was it a mechanical issue or something else?” Shamblaw said.
Police said they are not certain if the victim was inside or outside the vehicle at the time of the collision. No one on the train was injured.
The track was cleared a few hours after the collision and trains were expected to start moving again late Tuesday afternoon.
RCMP said the driver’s name is not being released.
–with files from Julia Wong