SkyTrain to launch full investigation into death of Maggie the dog

Nov 1 2016, 10:07 pm

SkyTrain President and General Manager Vivienne King provided an update on the death of Maggie, the Chow-Labrador cross that was killed by a train on Saturday, October 29.

“It’s really important that I have all the facts available to me and over the last day or say I have had some really conflicting information,” King said. “So I have asked for a full investigation. My safety department, who is independent of the operational group, is now investigating the incident so I can get the facts.”

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Conflicting reports

On Saturday afternoon, Maggie was playing at an off leash dog park with her owners at Trout Lake Park. Firecrackers were set off nearby and Maggie got spooked. She ran off towards Nanaimo Skytrain station and ended up on the tracks.

SkyTrain attendants tried to coax Maggie off of the tracks but they were unsuccessful. A train ended up hitting and killing the dog.

The Vancouver Humane Society sent out a statement earlier today demanding TransLink explain why Maggie died on the tracks.

The call comes after reports have surfaced from a TransLink employee suggesting that the accident could have been prevented and the train could have stopped before hitting Maggie.

“The remarks by the TransLink employee quoted in local media suggest that it may have been possible to stop the train to save Maggie,” said Vancouver Humane Society spokesman Peter Fricker in a release. “People want to know what options were open to TransLink staff to prevent this tragic incident.”

Facts needed

“I need to make sure I have the facts in front of me hence the investigation,” said King. “There seems to be some conflicting information and that information needs to be clarified.”

King says there are protocols in place when intrusions on the tracks occur. “We get intrusions by many many things and so we have a process where we stop trains which we did,” she said. “I know that for a fact. ” 

However, the protocol when dogs are on the tracks is unclear.

This is where I need to understand what we do. We haven’t had a dog on the tracks (…) that is what I have been told. It’s why I really need to have the facts in front of me so I can understand what we do.”

According to King, the investigation will clear up any misinformation about what happened to Maggie.

“Then we can understand what happened on that day and we can learn from what has happened and help the family understand as well as help our staff understand,” she said.