Most of you are aware of Benjamin Santos who died in the hospital 2 weeks after being stuck behind a train for 8 minutes while being “rushed” to the hospital.
We all know changes need to be made. i encourage everyone to join the group his parents have set up.
As most residents of Cambridge has experienced, there are delays caused by trains too often and too long, in many cases longer than the 5 minutes that the law allows a train to interrupt traffic. It is a nuisance when it makes you late for a meeting, but when it comes to your baby being delayed from receiving life saving health care, it takes it to a whole new level of concern.
On July 3, 2010, we found our 2 year old son floating lifeless in our backyard pool. Immediately paramedics, firemen and policemen filled our kitchen than just as quickly, regained his heartbeat, and loaded Ben into an ambulance to rush him to the hospital. We didn’t even get off our street when we were stopped by a train at the end of Concession Road. It was apparently shunting carts as it was moving slowly back and forth. This lasted for (as I am told) over 8 minutes. Because there was no room for myself and my husband in the ambulance, we were following behind. Waiting for this train seemed like a lifetime to us, not knowing what state our son was in. It later was revealed that all the contact numbers for the train station supplied to 911 were outdated, which we are sure contributed to the delay. As well, once Ben did lose his battle, there was never any personal acknowledgment from either the City or CP Rail, no condolences, which was hurtful considering the circumstances surrounding our tragedy and all the media attention it received. With the exception of Gary Goodyear, he was very compassionate and took the time to speak with us.
Although there are future plans for a bridge over Hespeler Road, we don’t feel this would help the people in our neighbourhood. If you have to take a 10 minute detour to make it to the hospital, you may as well wait for the train where you are. The Hespeler Road project also won’t be completed for some time, and the fact that it is all granite underground in that area, we anticipate there will be whole new issues arising. That means further time delays.
It has been a battle that has been going on for way too many years and the time is long overdue for action to be taken. With all the options given (moving the shunt station in Ayr, providing phone to conductors…) there has been, in our opinion, far too many stall tactics, lack of co-operation and an awful attitude by CP rail for much too long. Therefore we feel in memory of our baby Benjamin, we need to either reroute trains around the city or build a bridge in Preston so no other family ever has to go through this experience. We are left never knowing if we would have our son today had that train not hindered 911 efforts