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Friends, loved ones searching for answers after man killed in Strathcona County train collision

Family has questions about death of truck driver near Edmonton
The cause of a deadly collision between a train and truck on New Year's Day in Strathcona County is still being investigated. As Julia Wong reports, Noor Hassan's family is searching for answers.

The family of an Edmonton man who was killed after a collision between a train and a semi-trailer truck said they are looking for answers as to exactly what happened.

READ MORE: Edmonton man killed in Strathcona County train collision on New Year’s Day

Noor Hassan, 48, died Tuesday afternoon in the crash near Range Road 232 just north of Yellowhead Trail. He was the only person in the tractor trailer. No one on the train was injured.

RCMP said the semi was stopped on the rail road tracks when it was struck by an eastbound train. The collision happened at a crossing equipped with gates and lights, which CN said were working at the time.

Police said they are not certain if the victim was inside or outside the vehicle at the time of the collision. It also is not clear whether medical issues, mechanical issues or road conditions may have played a role.

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Thweiba Shire, Noor’s ex, said he moved to Alberta from Ontario in 2010 for better work opportunities, adding he had been a truck driver in Alberta for more than a decade.

“We can’t believe it because he was a very good driver,” Shire said.

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“He was more focused on his work. He never skipped any work. He had only days off on Friday.”

Noor Hassan, seen here in a photo provided by his family.
Noor Hassan, seen here in a photo provided by his family. Supplied to Global News

The couple shared joint custody of their nine-year-old son Ahmed, and Shire said she and Noor had a good relationship.

“He was a good father. He used to take his son every Friday. A week actually before he died, he had his son for a whole week of Christmas break,” she said.

READ MORE: 1 dead after being hit by train in northeast Calgary on New Year’s Eve: police

Shire said the loss to her life, and to her son’s life, is huge.

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“It’s something we still don’t understand. But, as a Muslim, we know at some point we have to die,” she said.

“He’s going to be missed so much.”

WATCH BELOW: A truck driver died on New Year’s Day after a collision involving a train in Strathcona County. (Jan. 1)

Man dies in Strathcona County collision
Man dies in Strathcona County collision

Noor’s younger brother Abdiwahab Hassan said the last text message he received from Noor was advice about looking for work.

“He loved his job. All the time, he just wanted to work hard, come home early,” Abdiwahab said.

“Nobody goes to work saying that I’m going to be injured today, right? Nobody goes to work like, ‘You know what, I’m not going to make it this night.’”

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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.

WATCH BELOW: A truck driver died on New Year’s Day after a collision involving a train in Strathcona County. (Jan. 1)

Man dies in Strathcona County collision
Man dies in Strathcona County collision

Abdiwahab said the family is in a state of mourning and searching for an explanation.

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“It’s going to be hard for us,” he said.

“We hope that we get some answers. We need some answers from CN, from Gibson, from the safety guys. What’s going on?”

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Shire said she was in disbelief when she learned about the collision, adding she does not believe it was deliberate.

READ MORE: Elderly couple killed by train collision in Langley were married for 70 years

“We want to avoid something like this in the future because… he left a son. We don’t want any other person, any other parent, losing a loved one,” she said.

“We can only prevent it for the future. We can’t bring [Noor] back right now.

“We would love to get some answers as to what exactly happened at that point between the train, the truck and him.”

Cpl. Chris Warren with Alberta RCMP said the cause of the crash is still under investigation.

Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is also investigating.