Two dead at luge-bobsled track in Calgary


CALGARY – An after-hours visit to a Calgary luge-bobsled track early Saturday resulted in the deaths of two young men and injuries to six others.

Calgary police say emergency crews were called to the WinSport facility in northwest Calgary at 1:30 a.m. after a report of several injured people on a closed track.

“They used their personal sled/toboggan in an attempt to go down the bobsled track,” Insp. Kelly Campbell said. “Part way down they hit a large gate that’s used to separate the luge and the bobsled track.

“We’re working to determine how they entered the property, what led up to the decision to enter the closed track. We don’t have a lot of details as to what really went on other than they went down the track and several were injured and two were deceased.”

Police have brought in the CPS Traffic Reconstruction Unit as well as officers from the Centralized General Investigations Section.

Officials had said earlier Saturday they were looking for two witnesses who were believed to have left the park after the accident, but police corrected that later and now say those two were part of the group of eight and have been accounted for.

An EMS official said the location of the accident made it difficult for the first paramedic team to arrive due to slippery conditions and poor lighting.

“They thought initially there was one person. But they found a group of males in their late teens quite injured. They were able to triage and assess all of them in a timely fashion. Unfortunately they had to determine two of them deceased on scene,” said EMS Public Education Officer Adam Loria.

“Obviously it was a difficult situation at the time and two people were determined deceased on scene here and unfortunately given the injuries sustained there was no resuscitation put forth.”

Loria said an additional six ambulances had to be called in. Three of the injured were sent to hospital with serious soft tissue injuries and the remainder received minor bumps and bruises. None of the injuries are considered to be lift-threatening.

WinSport Canada owns and operates Canada Olympic Park, which hosted events during the 1988 Winter Olympics. Several World Cup events are held at the site as well.

WinSport released a statement saying it is co-operating with the investigation, including supplying any CCTV footage that may help with determining how and why this happened.

“On behalf of WinSport, I would like to express our sincerest sympathies to the families of the two deceased. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families,” said Barry Heck, Winsport’s president and CEO.

“WinSport is working closely with the Calgary Police Service in their ongoing investigation. In addition, WinSport will conduct its own review of the incident.”

Insp. Campbell said the teens involved in the incident ranged in age from 16 to 19 years old. She said due to the injuries there is no immediate word on their identities.

Campbell said it might have been a spur of the moment decision.

“I can imagine it probably sounded good at the time but absolutely it’s a tragic thing and nobody wants something like that to happen or thinks something like that’s going to happen.”

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