Girl, 11, killed by train in Ste. Anne, Man.
Small community shaken after girl hit while riding bike
The mayor of Ste. Anne says the community is in shock after an 11-year-old girl was hit by a train and died in the small Manitoba town Friday.
Richard Pelletier told CBC News the girl was riding her bike along the CN Rail tracks that run through the community of just over 2,000, which is about 40 kilometres southeast of Winnipeg.
Pelletier said the girl was hit on the tracks near the Ste. Anne Hotel around 4 p.m.
While initial reports suggested the girl may have been wearing headphones at the time, Ste. Anne police said Saturday they couldn't confirm that.
"People are shook up, that's for sure," said Pelletier. "It's a small town and we love our town, we love our people and when something like this happens it really shakes the town."
Pelletier said emergency crews, including STARS Ambulance, arrived quickly to the scene, and a statement from CN Rail said local police are leading the investigation with the assistance of CN police.
Ste. Anne police Chief Marc Robichaud told CBC News the girl was 11, not 12 as previously reported.
He said it's still unclear if the girl was riding on track or beside it.
"It's quite a traumatic thing for everybody involved, for the police and the first responders, and it's a tragic thing for a small community," he said.
Counselling will be available for any officers and first responders who need it, Robichaud said.
On social media, the Ste. Anne fire department posted that their thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Pelletier said he doesn't personally know the family of the girl, but he had no doubt the community will be there for them.
"If I was one of the parents I would definitely be devastated," he said. "We have to care for the family and there's no doubt that it's easy to care when we love each other in a small town like Ste. Anne."
Transport Minister Marc Garneau offered sympathies and prayers for the girl's family after learning about the death.
The minister said his office will work with CN, the Ste. Anne municipality and police to determine the cause of the incident.
"My top priority remains rail safety," Garneau said in a prepared statement.
Pelletier said police will be on hand at the schools in Ste. Anne to provide counselling and help friends and classmates deal with the news.
Robichaud said Ste. Anne police have been in contact with CN police to discuss further education on safety around train tracks.
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With files from The Canadian Press