Just over two years after the 2018 death of South Surrey teen Jack Stroud on the railway tracks in Crescent Beach, a coroner’s report finds the tragedy was the result of a risky game.
According to the report, released to Peace Arch News on Thursday morning (July 30), Stroud “intentionally engaged in a dangerous confrontational game with the train where he would see how long he could stand in the path of the oncoming train and would not jump out of the way and off the tracks until the last second.”
Emergency crews were called to the south end of the beach just after 10 p.m. on July 4, 2018. A witness told PAN at the time that Stroud – who attended Elgin Park Secondary – had been with around 50 teens near the Christopherson Stairs, which lead to the waterfront from the foot of 24 Avenue, and that he was apparently crossing the tracks towards the beach when he was hit.
Police, firefighters, paramedics and search-and-rescue crews responded, along with the Coast Guard Hovercraft. His death was the first train fatality of that year on BNSF tracks in B.C.
Speculation around exactly what had led to the tragedy swirled in the days that followed, however, no official cause was released until now.
According to the report, Stroud’s final moments were captured on video footage from the train’s engine, which showed that despite warning blasts from the train and efforts by his friends – one even tried to remove him from the tracks – Stroud stayed put.
That friend narrowly missed being hit, and “Jack was seen to immediately attempt to follow behind his friend and get off the tracks and out of the way of the train; however, he was unable to and was struck,” the report states.
Despite extensive efforts by emergency services, the teen – remembered following his death as a “gifted athlete,” “favourite student” and a “serious hugger” – was pronounced dead at the scene.
A police investigation found no concerns of foul play.
There was no autopsy, however, a toxicology analysis determined Stroud’s blood-alcohol concentration was .09 per cent, indicating that a “moderate level of intoxication” likely contributed to the fatality.
“Being under the influence of alcohol can impair judgment and decision making and is considered to be a contributory factor,” the reports states.
Coroner Kimberly Isbister classified Stroud’s death as accidental and made no recommendations.