Following Their Instincts to Intervene
At top, from left: Shawn Prairie, Eddie Berube, Krishna Weyer, Matt Wright, Andrew Robb and Brandon Kenzlers were in the right place at the right time to prevent a young woman from attempting to take her own life.
Above: Andrew Robb, Krishna Weyer and Matt Wright took an active role in attending to the young woman.
It was 4 p.m. at the Engelhard Drive crossing on the Newmarket Subdivision north of Toronto in Aurora, ON. A Guelph-based PNR RailWorks Signals & Communications crew was securing its jobsite by boarding up trenches and installing snow fencing.
Signalman 3 Andrew Robb decided to have a quick final site walk-through to be sure all tools had been gathered. When he returned to where the rest of the crew was waiting, he mentioned having noticed a young female standing near the track.
Together, the crew observed as the young woman, who appeared to be in her late teens, repeatedly looked down at the tracks, then at her watch or phone. Andrew had said that she seemed to him to be upset. Growing nervous as a northbound GO Train was approaching soon, the crew felt they needed to make a plan.
They determined that Signalman 1 Krishna Weyer would approach the young woman to talk, while Matt Wright, a signal assistant and boom truck driver, would walk to the nearby fire hall to speak with paramedics who were standing outside.
As Krishna made small talk with the young woman, he was able to persuade her to move away from the tracks. Meanwhile, paramedics and police were on the way.
“We remained on site until the first northbound GO train went by,” said Brandon Kenzlers, superintendent. “After that we decided to leave the site, as she was now in the care of the paramedics and police.”
The next morning, the crew learned some startling things that reinforced their decision the day before to intervene.
“We had a visit from the responding paramedics that morning. He congratulated us on making the right call. The young lady eventually told the police and paramedics … she had every intention of jumping in front of that first northbound GO train. She was taken to the hospital … after we’d left the site.”