Grade 9 student killed by train near Surrey's Crescent Beach
Mourners brought flowers to a memorial near Crescent Beach as friends and family gathered to remember a teen who was killed by a train Wednesday night.
Jack Stroud had just graduated Grade 9 at Surrey's Elgin Park Secondary School, where he played on the rugby team, friends and witnesses said.
“I just heard a few hours ago. I can’t believe it,” said Cole Dietrich, a student in Grade 11 who played rugby with Stroud. “Every person he came into contact with he brought joy to their hearts. He was a great guy.”
Stroud was among a group of more than 30 people partying at the base of the Christopherson Steps on Wednesday.
Witnesses tell CTV News that he and several other boys were playing on the tracks. The others were able to get out of the way of the northbound Amtrak Cascades train at around 10 p.m., but Stroud was struck.
Several teens there tried to perform first aid, witnesses said, but it was too late.
“A bunch of boys thought it would be a good idea to play chicken with the Amtrak train. They didn’t realize that it was the Amtrak that runs silent and quick,” said Don Pitcairn, who lives nearby and investigated what happened for the White Rock Sun.
Cpl. Elenore Sturko of the RCMP said the force couldn’t confirm anything that happened before the fatality as they were still investigating.
“We received a call around 10 p.m. that an individual had been struck by the train,” she said. “Unfortunately this person was critically injured and did succumb to his injuries.”
The Amtrak train was delayed by three and a half hours. None of its 82 passengers were injured, a spokesperson said.
Evan Hagedorn was aboard the Amtrak Cascades when the train hit the teen.
“It was a really quick stop. Maybe 10 seconds of intense braking. And once we came to a stop we lurched back. It didn’t feel right. Something definitely wasn’t right,” he told CTV News.
It’s not the first time that someone has been struck and killed on that route. An analysis by the City of White Rock suggested that at least 28 people have died on those tracks, including a woman who was jogging in 2013 and didn’t hear the train.
Surrey-White Rock MLA Tracey Redies has been pushing to move those tracks from the beach. In the meantime, she says, young people need to be careful.
“There’s no question that I think we need to do a better job of educating people about the risks,” Redies told CTV News.