A White Rock woman died Sunday night after being struck by a passenger train on East Beach.
Anita Lewis, 42, and her husband, Mike Grahame, were jogging across the tracks at the pedestrian crossing nearest Semiahmoo Park, in the 15600-block of Marine Drive, at 9:45 p.m.
Grahame crossed the tracks ahead of his wife. When he realized Lewis was not behind him, he circled back to the tracks to find her, White Rock RCMP told Peace Arch News.
The fatality was witnessed by off-duty emergency responders who attempted to revive Lewis at the scene.
Lewis worked as a mortgage broker at Dreyer Group Mortgage in Morgan Creek. She is remembered by loved ones as “a loving mother, adoring wife, sister, daughter, a special friend to all.”
Len Doray, managing broker of HomeLife Benchmark Realty in White Rock, where Grahame has been a longtime real estate agent, told PAN Monday that Lewis’ husband was devastated.
“I don’t know what to say, but he’s just beside himself,” Doray said. “It’s a very difficult time.”
The police investigation is ongoing, with RCMP focusing on finding any media surveillance that may have caught the incident.
Amtrak spokesperson Vernae Graham said the engineer spotted something on the tracks and he put the Vancouver-bound train into an “emergency brake situation” prior to impact.
She noted “the crosswalk there has no protection – there are no gates or whistles or anything.”
BNSF spokesperson Gus Melonas said the crossing is posted with warning signs that are in compliance with Transport Canada requirements.
The speed of the train at the time of the accident is unknown, however, the designated speed for that area is 55 km/h, Graham said.
Melonas confirmed BNSF, as track owner, will have a team involved in the investigation.
BC Coroners Office media contact Barb McLintock said further information will be released as soon as possible, citing limited staff – and media inquiries into Saturday’s death of television star Cory Monteith, as well as a four-person plane crash in Pemberton last month – for the delay.