'Half of me is gone': Twin of CP Rail victim mourns loss of brother, colleagues

Jeremy Waldenberger-Bulmer says the emptiness in his home is "indescribable" after his twin brother died in a Canadian Pacific Railway train derailment near the Alberta-British Columbia border. Three crew members died Monday when the train plunged into a river.

Jeremy Waldenberger-Bulmer planned to work at railway and retire with his brother

Jeremy Waldenberger-Bulmer carries his brother, Daniel, on his back. The twin brothers were very close. Daniel died in a CP Rail train crash this week. (Submitted by Jeremy Waldenberger-Bulmer)

Jeremy Waldenberger-Bulmer says the emptiness in his home is "undescribable" after his twin brother died in a Canadian Pacific Railway train derailment near the Alberta-British Columbia border.

A westbound 112-car freight train was parked near Field, B.C., west of Lake Louise, Alta., when it started rolling early Monday. It barreled along until nearly the full length of it plunged into the Kicking Horse River.

Calgary-based conductor Dylan Paradis, engineer Andrew Dockrell and trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer were killed.

"I feel like half of me is gone now," Jeremy Waldenberger-Bulmer said Tuesday.

The brother sent CBC News a written statement, offering condolences to the loved ones of all three men. He also works at CP Rail and knew Dockrell and Paradis.

He had encouraged his twin to apply, and Daniel was hired in November.

"Before he started, I always told him how much I loved my job and how I'm always excited to go to work," Jeremy wrote. 

Trainee Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer, left, engineer Andrew Dockrell, centre, and conductor Dylan Paradis, right, were killed when a CP train derailed near Field, B.C., early Monday. (Facebook)

"He was loving it and knew he would make a lifetime career out of it. We had big plans of living out our careers with CP Rail and retiring together to golf all over the world."

Waldenberger-Bulmer said that when he was growing up, he fought with his twin "like any other siblings." But the two were inseparable, and remained so in adulthood.

Jeremy said he is constantly reminded of his brother by his daughter, who walks around the house calling for "Unco Dano."

Daniel's childhood friend, Dylan Kress, had offered him a job in Ontario last summer. But on the way back from visiting family in Moncton, N.B., Daniel was offered an interview with the railway.

"He was 110 per cent focused on doing whatever he could to make sure that he could get that job," Kress said. "I was very happy for him, an opportunity like that doesn't happen very often."

Kress has taken a few days off work to mourn his longtime friend, who always checked in and supported him.

"I've been pretty shook up about it," he said. "I don't know if I'm ever going to find a friend like him again."

The cause of the derailment "was not anything the crew did," Transportation Safety Board investigator James Carmichael said on Tuesday. "The train started to move on its own."

He's calling it a "loss of control" and is investigating why the brakes on the parked train didn't hold.

Trainee 'looked up' to mentor

Daniel moved from Victoria to Calgary when he started at CP and began training under the supervision of Paradis, who had worked for CP Rail since 2007. Daniel had requested Paradis remain his coach, his brother said.

"He looked up to him and loved everything Dylan was teaching him," Jeremy said. "My heart goes out to everyone grieving."

Paradis was the father of two girls, according to a fundraising page posted to help his wife.

"He was kind, hilarious, hardworking, easy going, and IN LOVE with his family," the page says. "They were everything to him."

'Great railroader'

Locomotive engineer Danielle Hand, who was hired at the same time as Paradis in 2007, said he was "a great railroader."

"I just remember him being such a nice guy," she said. "He was so selfless, and he was always a joy to work with."

Hand says Paradis worked in the rail yard, but recently starting working as a conductor.

"When I ask him, 'Do you prefer the road?' he said, 'I'm so much happier.'"

Hand, a "fifth-generation railroader," would not speculate about what may have caused the derailment.

"The air brake system is supposed to be your be all and end all," she said. "And when you're in emergency you're not supposed to go anywhere."

Dockrell is being remembered as a reliable, respected colleague.

"Railroading really is a special job in that it takes a unique set of skills, intelligence and temperament,"  said Frank Keller, who retired from CP in 1994. "Andrew had all that."

With files from Dave Will, Reid Southwick and Bryan Labby