Perverse police pronouncement shows need for better training

by Jack Locke

I have decided to investigate the tragic deaths of three Montréal youths by a VIA Rail passenger train in the Turcot area of Montréal on the early morning of Oct. 31, 2010.

My theory is that this was a preventable accident—as most human fatalities are, in theory, preventable. But the goal of this investigation is to see what can be done to prevent future tragedies like this one from happening.

The three dead were Dylan Ford, Mitchell Bracken-Guenet and Ricardo Conesa. Two other youngsters narrowly escaped the ordeal as the three-hour-late train on destination to Montréal from Toronto was entering its final 10 kilometre leg into Montréal’s Central Station.

I shall be interviewing a number of people associated with this event in order to understand how such a horrible incident could occur. One of my first interviews has uncovered a disturbing fact.

Raphael Bergeron, SPVM spokesperson

I spoke with Montréal Police Service media spokesperson, Raphael Bergeron. It appears the Service de police de la Ville de Montréal(SPVM) have closed their investigation of the incident.

“We have closed our investigation. It appears it’s a sad accident,” shrugs Bergeron.

But I dig deeper to see if he has any less-obvious information to share. When I ask whether it is normal for Montréal Police to investigate an accident on CN property, he gives me a surprising answer.

“I can’t answer that,” he says. Then I probe and ask why charges were not laid.

“In essence, they were breaking the law,” he asserts.

There is no doubt the young men were on CN property. And clearly they were unable to avoid the train. And these youngsters were likely far more quick and agile than yours truly. But it is perverse for the police to close an investigation into a multiple-death incident for the flippant (and debatable) suggestion that these men “were breaking the law.”

This is not something a police spokesman should be uttering. But I suspect he was merely passing along the sentiments from a fellow officer who gave him this unsound sound bite.

It is reminiscent of an early CBC report that said police were considering laying charges against the two surviving youth.

Bergeron’s final advice to me is that I should talk to Montréal’s coroner. I am looking forward to that.

This is installment one in the investigation to prevent similar unnecessary deaths in the Great City of Montréal. Comments and information are welcomed.


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2 Responses to “Perverse police pronouncement shows need for better training”

  1. publicpoetry Says:

    Reblogged this on Lockeblog and commented:

    I am reposting my series on The Turcot Train Tragedy as it approaches the second anniversary of that horrible event. Alas, with no government accountability. Installment 1.

  2. dave Says:

    You go JJ!

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