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Via Rail engineer injured by 'stupid act'
Published: December 5, 2007
Source: By JOE BELANGER, SUN MEDIA
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A Via Rail engineer who suffered serious eye injuries when he was hit by a rock near Dorchester is out of hospital.

Middlesex OPP are urging the public to help track down a suspect who threw the rock at the train as it passed through Dorchester on Saturday.

The train was just west of the Shaw Road crossing when a rock the size of a tennis ball was thrown through the windshield, police said.

The 58-year-old engineer from Etobicoke stopped the train and was taken to London Health Sciences Centre where he was treated for a "serious" eye injury and cuts from flying glass.

It's still not known if the engineer, whose name wasn't released, will make a full recovery, police said.

"This is definitely one of those stupid acts that someone has done that caused serious injury and delays," Const. Chris Hunter said.

"At this time, we don't have any suspects, but we're hoping that someone who may have been sitting at the crossing may be able to shed some light on what happened."

The damage and delays cost the passenger rail service an estimated $40,000. About 200 passengers were affected.

A Via Rail spokesperson urged the public to take care driving or walking near rail lines.

"It's something that's very, very serious," Catherine Kaloutsky said.

"Not only are you risking the lives of engineers (throwing rocks, damaging tracks), but you're risking the lives of everyone on that train."

Kaloutsky said the railway is trying to educate the public about the dangers through a safety program called Operation Lifesaver (www.operationlifesaver.org).

"These types of situations are exactly why Via is involved in this program," Kaloutsky said.

"It's not cool, it's not romantic to walk along a railway track with your girlfriend or spouse and dog. Train time is any time."

The Middlesex OPP crime unit and CN are investigating. Anyone with information can contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 519-661-8477.

 

 
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