Islanders mourn former Victoria resident, one of three victims in train derailment

Islanders mourn former Victoria resident, one of three victims in train derailment

WATCH: We are learning more tonight about a fatal freight train derailment near the B.C./Alberta border that happened on Monday. The train was stopped when it suddenly started to move on its own, picking up speed before going off the tracks. One of the three crew members killed was a trainee who had just moved from Victoria to start his dream job. Kori Sidaway reports.

The wreckage is hard to fathom.

A massive freight train lays crumpled on top of a fresh layer of snow near the B.C./Alberta border after it flew off the tracks on Monday killing three of those on board.

“The occurrence crew had just arrived and boarded the train but were not yet ready to depart, the train had been stopped on the grade with the air brakes and emergency for about two hours when the train began to move on its own,” said James Carmichael, lead investigator with the Transportation Safety Board.

The runaway freight train barreled down the tracks for three kilometres, gaining speed well over the 32 km/h maximum for the tight rocky mountain turns.

The out-of-control locomotive finally crashed near Field, B.C. in between the lower and upper Spiral Tunnels.

Conductor in training Dan Waldenberger-Bulmer, who had just moved from Victoria to Calgary, engineer Andrew Dockrell, and Conductor Dylan Paradis were the crew on board the front locomotive, and all three were killed in the collision.

Those who knew Dan from the island, couldn’t say enough about him.

“He was so upbeat and positive. He was just a really genuine individual that was a pleasure to be around,” said Waldenberger’s old boss Ian Laird, who worked with him at 4Refuel on the island.

Dan lived and worked in Victoria for around three years, before leaving to start his dream job as a conductor with CP rail.

He was following in his twin brother, Jeremy’s footsteps, a CP engineer who got him the gig in November.

“Daniel was my twin brother and I feel like half of me is gone now,” his brother said in a statement.

And although Dan was only in Victoria for a few years, he had a big impact.

“He was such a bright and young person just starting his life out in a new career,” said Laird.

“We were all pulling for him and happy that he was excited to start this new venture. We’re all deeply saddened and crushed that he’s gone.”

As family and friends try to cope with a sudden and terrible loss, investigators remain at the crash site trying to determine exactly what went so wrong.

Kori SidawayKori Sidaway

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