A 44-year-old Kamloops man who died after passing out on train tracks Monday morning was just 300 metres away from a recently opened bridge that spans the tracks to accommodate pedestrians.
The man, whose name has not been released, was reportedly drinking heavily with his wife when he crossed train tracks near Lorne Street and passed out.
Police say the man's wife was with him at the time and may be able to shed some light on what happened.
The B.C. Coroner Service, which has taken over the investigation, did not return calls on Tuesday.
CP Rail media spokesperson Kevin Hrysak said the conductor and engineer aboard the train were unable to avoid hitting the man.
"There's a bit of a curve in that area; our crews came around that area and did notice an individual laying on the tracks," said Hrysak. "They immediately put the train into an emergency brake application, sounded their whistle and sounded off their bell as well. But, unfortunately, did make contact with the individual and fatally injured him.
"Our heartfelt sympathies go out to the individual fatally injured in this incident and his family."
Hrysak was unsure how fast the train was going but said trains are at a reduced speed in that slower section.
It's also unclear how long it took for the train to stop, but at normal speeds, a typical freight train two kilometres in length can take more than one kilometre to stop.
The crew members involved are now on leave and have the option of seeking stress counselling, said Hrysak.
"These types of incidents are extremely hard of them as well, as they are first on the scene."
The City of Kamloops lobbied and saved for eight years to build the Valleyview Interchange Multi-Use Pathway with the help of CP Rail and other agencies.
The pedestrian bridge, which spans the tracks near the Yellowhead Highway overpass, opened to traffic in May.
Hrysak said CP police and local police routinely patrol the tracks to ensure individuals aren't putting themselves at risk.
"I hate to say this in this situation given the circumstances, but it's a grim reminder of the need to be safe around railway tracks and use the appropriate locations that are safe to cross over the railway property."