'He didn't deserve this at all': Camrose residents gather after senior's death at train crossing
Victim identified by those who knew him as Ken Johanson, 71
About 20 people met in Camrose Wednesday night for a community briefing following the death of a 71-year-old man struck by a train on Sunday.
Camrose police hosted the event so people could talk to victims services staff and a police chaplain.
"We wanted to gather everybody during this difficult time," acting Camrose police chief Lee Foreman told the group.
People at the event identified the senior killed as Ken Johanson.
The 71-year-old was struck by an eastbound Canadian Pacific train at the crossing on 53rd Street between 51st Avenue and 52nd Avenue in Camrose Sunday night.
Dianne Ferguson lived near Johanson. She knew him well.
"He was very nice. He would help out anybody he could. He didn't deserve this at all," Ferguson said.
She said Johanson would go for a ride around town daily on his motorized scooter, but recently started riding in the evenings because of the hot weather.
He lived about a block from the train crossing where he was killed, she said.
Ferguson remembers seeing him on Sunday night, on his scooter with his dog.
Minutes later, her husband heard on their radio a train engineer calling for help.
Ferguson rushed over to the nearby 53rd Street train crossing.
She says she hasn't slept well since the accident.
"He's always crossed the tracks and never had a problem. He knows track safety. I just don't know why he got hit this time," she said at Wednesday's meeting.
Sunday's accident was the first fatality involving a train in recent memory in Camrose, Foreman said.
Tara Hart was at Wednesday's event. She didn't know Johanson but wanted to show her support.
"We're all affected by it. It's a sad way to lose a member of the community," she said.
'It already caused a death'
Officers responded to the scene around 8:45 p.m. Sunday after getting several 911 calls about the collision.
Fire, paramedics and rail police also responded to the crash.
There are no crossing arms where the collision occurred, but city staff said they have not received complaints about the intersection.
Ferguson said she wants to see crossing arms installed at the major train crossings in Camrose.
"This has stirred up a lot of things for the community. The community wants CP or CN to put the barriers on 68th Street, 53rd Street and 48th [Street]. What is it going to take? It already caused a death," she said.
Camrose is about 100 kilometres southeast of Edmonton.
With files from Alex Zabjek