The Transportation Safety Board has released an interim report warning that the rail crossing at Glover Road and 216 Street — where a deadly crash between a train and an ambulance occurred last year — is confusing to drivers and changes are needed.
The TSB continues its investigation into the crash that killed a 87-year-old Langley woman and injured a paramedic on Sept. 11, 2015.
Paramedics were conducting an inter-facility transfer from a Willoughby seniors’ residence to hospital, with the 87-year-old listed in stable condition before the collision.
Video of the crash, caught on a driver’s dash cam and posted on YouTube, showed that the back end of the ambulance was on the tracks when the train hit it, spinning the ambulance 180 degrees before the front end smashed into the moving train.
The whistle of the train can be heard blaring before the crash occurred.
The TSB said the train was travelling at 32 km/h, with the maximum allowable speed along that section of track being 35 km/h.
The collision remains under investigation by police, the Transportation Safety Board, WorkSafe BC, CP Rail and BC Ambulance Service.
There are actually two separate crossing at this location — the main track and the Milner storage track.
The crossing has two separate warning devices at the same spot — a fact that “confuses road users, who think that it is safe to approach the gates when they are active,” said the TSB in its report released on Monday.
The investigation so far shows both the train and ambulance were mechanically sound at the time of the crash.
On March 17, the TSB issued a safety advisory to Transport Canada concerning safety issues arising from conflicting information given to drivers by the railway crossing and traffic signals at the crossing.
The B.C. Ministry of Transportation has responded that it is working with CP to upgrade the signal bungalow, relocate the gate arm and add an active warning LED sign on Crush Crescent.
CP also responded saying it will relocate the crossing gate controlling eastward traffic to the west side of the Milner storage track.
Construction on the improvements is scheduled to start in early July.