Maple Ridge council resolution silenced train horns and whistles months before woman hit and killed, family claims

BIV's lawsuit of the week

The daughter of a woman hit and killed by a train last year is suing the Canadian Pacific Railway Co. (CP) and the District of Maple Ridge, claiming the municipality passed a motion months before the accident prohibiting trains from sounding their horns and whistles at crossings.

Khloe Bennett, by her guardian Susan Drake, filed a notice of civil claim in BC Supreme Court on January 7. According to the lawsuit, Shelby Cobra Lyn Drake was hit by a CP train on River Road in Maple Ridge on November 14, 2018. In September, Maple Ridge city council had passed a resolution banning trains from blowing horns or whistles “at certain public railway crossings in Maple Ridge,” the claim states.

Bennett claims the city was negligent in passing a resolution “that it knew or ought to have known would prevent pedestrians from being aware of incoming trains.” Moreover, Bennett claims the “inherently dangerous railway” where Drake was hit had no barriers or adequate warning signs to alert pedestrians of incoming trains.                  

In addition, the suit accuses CP of operating the train without due care at “an excessive rate of speed.” The train operator also allegedly failed to stop or take “evasive action to prevent the train from colliding with the Deceased.”

 Bennett seeks unspecified damages under the Family Compensation Act. The allegations have not been tested or proven in court and CP and Maple Ridge had not responded to the claim by press time.