Emergency personnel were on scene of a crash between a sedan and a train in North Langley on the evening of Jan. 21, 2022. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Emergency personnel were on scene of a crash between a sedan and a train in North Langley on the evening of Jan. 21, 2022. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

GPS blamed for sending driver onto train tracks in North Langley

Occupants were able to get out and train slowed down before train hit

Stuck on the tracks with the train coming – it’s an hackneyed Hollywood cliffhanger, but as scene that a driver and his passenger lived through in Walnut Grove on Thursday night.

According to the report from the Township of Langley Fire Department, it was just before 8 p.m. The driver was following the directions from the GPS, which apparently steered him down the railway tracks instead of the 96th Avenue roadway, near 217 A Street.

The car became stuck on the tracks.

The driver and one passenger tried to push the vehicle off the tracks. Then, as a train approached tried flagging down the engineer. They were seen, but not in time.

“The train operator tried slowing the train, but there wasn’t enough track,” said assistant fire chief Andy Hewitson.

Both of the vehicle occupants were able to get clear of the collision. The train hit the car at slow speed, and pushed it for almost the length of a soccer field before getting fully stopped.

In deference to the car’s driver, Hewitson noted it was dark, and 96th Avenue and the railway right-of-way intersect at an odd angle at that location. A lagging GPS could obviously create issues, he noted.

“Technology is great, but it might not always give you the right directions,” said Hewitson.

Nobody was injured, although the early model vehicle will likely be a write-off, he said.

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Emergency personnel were on scene of a crash between a sedan and a train in North Langley on the evening of Jan. 21, 2022. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Emergency personnel were on scene of a crash between a sedan and a train in North Langley on the evening of Jan. 21, 2022. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Emergency personnel were on scene of a crash between a sedan and a train in North Langley on the evening of Jan. 21, 2022. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Emergency personnel were on scene of a crash between a sedan and a train in North Langley on the evening of Jan. 21, 2022. (Curtis Kreklau/South Fraser News Services/Special to the Langley Advance Times)