RCMP say a 58-year-old Surrey man is in hospital with non-life threatening injuries after getting hit by a slow-moving train near the White Rock waterfront Sunday.
The man had apparently rushed onto the tracks in an attempt to rescue his two unleashed dogs who dashed onto the railway right-of-way, before he was clipped by the train.
The train, carrying crude oil tankers at low speed, was attempting to stop just before the man was struck.
It was fully stopped for several hours afterward at Semiahmoo Park near Parker Street south of Marine Drive while police railway crews investigated.
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BC Emergency Health Services said they were called to the scene just before 1 p.m., and rushed the man to hospital.
Surrey RCMP say the man received several non-life threatening injuries, and was communicating with emergency responders who arrived at the scene.
The dogs were uninjured.
Semiahmoo Park was hosting the White Rock Sea Festival and Semiahmoo Days at the time of the incident.
The busy festival drew a large crowd, and as a result there were a number of witnesses to the accident, several of whom spoke with Global News.
“I saw a dog run through the bush, and I heard a bunch of people screaming and the train had stopped,” September Farrow said. “It was pretty scary.”
Allan McGregor said he was baffled to see people on the tracks with a train coming.
“Next thing I know, he was getting clipped from the train, from the front of the train,” McGregor said.
James Farrow said he was sympathetic that the man was trying to protect his pets.
“Sometimes you do something on instinct without thinking, you know?” he said. “I can understand that.”
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BNSF Railway sent crews to the scene to investigate.
All train traffic was halted in the area to keep the scene clear until 3:30 p.m., when the train began moving again.
Anyone with information that may be helpful to the investigation is asked to contact Surrey RCMP.