Drinking and train tracks can be a dangerous mix

It’s almost St. Patrick’s Day—a day that’s about celebrating Irish heritage. It’s also a day that often involves alcohol. And although there’s nothing wrong with a little celebrating, if it includes drinking, don’t get behind the wheel of a vehicle and stay well away from railway tracks. Too often, mixing drinking with trains ends in tragedy.

“Trespassing on railway property is always a poor decision and is always very unsafe,” says Sergeant Paul Leaden of the CN Police. “Once you add alcohol to the equation, it can make an already dangerous situation become deadly that much more quickly.”

It’s a lesson Scott Sackney learned the hard way. In 2012, the Brantford Ontario man lost his right arm and part of his leg when he was hit by a train after a night of drinking.

“You know, it’s dangerous. Stay away from train tracks. Especially if you’re drinking. It’s not a good place to be, not a place to be at all,” says Sackney.

Sackney isn’t the only one to have learned this difficult lesson. In September 2017, Elijah Gunner lost both of his legs after a train hit him. The 20-year-old Winnipeg man was on his way to a friend’s house after a night of drinking with other friends when he decided to take a shortcut across the railway tracks that go through the city—something he had done more times than he can remember. But this time, he wasn’t so lucky.

“I was just, like, sitting there, so I guess I just passed out waiting for my friends to catch up. I guess that’s how I got hit,” he explains. “It was completely my fault due to alcohol and a bad decision. It opened my eyes. I realized the mistakes and consequences that drinking can lead to.”

So, whether it is St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, or any another celebration, if it involves drinking, stay away from tracks. Otherwise it could be your last celebration.