By Jesse Thomas
Halton Police are looking for witnesses after a pedestrian was killed just west of the rail crossing at Burloak Drive in Burlington.
Just before 6 a.m. Thursday, a GO train traveling east to Union Station from Aldershot struck and killed a pedestrian just east of Appleby station.
Ryan Vella, a news producer with the CBC, was on the train when it hit the pedestrian. Vella boarded the 5:47 a.m. eastbound train at Appleby station in Burlington to go to work minutes before the accident happened.
“We hadn’t even made it to the next station or picked up full speed when suddenly the train came to an alarming and rather jarring stop,” said Vella.
“That’s the first time I’ve felt the sudden breaking and we (riders) were all looking around at one another and my first thought was that we hit someone.”
Vella said shortly after the train stopped an announcement came over the speakers saying there was an emergency on the tracks.
“A few minutes later, there was a message that we hit a person. Then a few minutes later they said there was a fatality and the coroners were on their way,” he said.
“At that point it was just a waiting game as we couldn’t really see what was happening except the blue and red police lights flashing in the distance.”
Halton Police reconstruction and forsenics units were investigating on scene Thursday morning, which halted trains in both directions for about two hours.
“Service was suspended between Hamilton and Oakville for the investigation,” said GO spokesperson Marlon Edwards. “The investigation is now complete and the trains are on the move a little slower than usual because of a back log but the trains are moving.”
The investigation wrapped up shortly after 8 a.m. and the eastbound GO train involved in the collision finally arrived at Union Station just before 9 a.m.
This is the second train fatality in the Burlington area in the last two weeks. A 23-year-old Hamilton man was killed Jan. 31 when he was struck by a VIA rail train just east of the Burlington GO station.
Halton Police are asking for witnesses to call them at (905) 825-4747 x5142, or call Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-TIPS (8477).