For many Canadians, especially young people, St. Patrick’s Day is chance to get together with friends to celebrate—even for those who don’t have any Irish roots. And although there’s nothing wrong with raising a glass, or two, with friends, alcohol and railway tracks can be a dangerous mix.
Alcohol affects balance, coordination and judgment. It can also bring out the risk-taker in you. And when trains and tracks are involved, it can have tragic consequences.
Alcohol and trains are a dangerous combination
In July 2018, a teenager in Surrey, B.C., was killed while playing chicken
with an oncoming Amtrak train. He had spent the evening hanging out with friends at a nearby beach and coroners determined alcohol played a "significant" role in the tragic death.
Drinking too much when near train tracks may not also lead to a fatality, but it can still have life changing consequence. Just ask Elijah Gunner.
In September 2017, the Winnipeg man lost both of his legs when he was hit by a train
. Gunner was on his way to a friend’s house after a night of drinking when he decided to take a shortcut across tracks. It was something he’d done many times before—but this time, he wasn’t so lucky.
One bad decision could change your life forever
“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,” explains Gunner. “It was completely my fault due to alcohol and a bad decision.”
So, whether it’s St. Patrick’s Day, New Year’s Eve, or just a Friday night out with friends, if you’ve been drinking, stay clear of tracks. Otherwise, it could be your last celebration. Check out our website for other resources
to help you stay safe all year round.