Family, friends grieve loss of Dorval teen struck by train
Published Monday, July 3, 2017 10:19PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 6, 2017 8:44AM EDT
A Dorval teenager is being remembered by family and friends after he was fatally struck by a train just weeks after graduating high school.
Tristan Morrissette-Perkins, 16, was struck by a Via Rail train heading to Toronto from Montreal on Monday evening.
A GoFundMe page with a goal of reached $5,000 to help his family with funeral costs has reached nearly $14,000 in less than 24 hours.
“Dear Tristan, You left us so suddenly. You are always in our heart. God bless your family. Rest in peace Tristan. We love you always,” wrote Mai and Alain Gagnon on the page.
“I'm at a loss for words... my sincere condolences to Tris' family and friends. He was an amazing person and will never be forgotten,” added Kenslie Morrison.
Three teenaged boys were walking on a portion of the CN Railway Bridge in South Glengarry, near Cornwall, when he was struck, the other two narrowly escaping the same fate.
Morrissette-Perkins was pronounced dead at the scene.
The teen graduated from John Rennie High School in the West Island a few weeks ago.
Principal Cristina Prata e-mailed the graduating class, saying, “John Rennie's doors are open, and staff remains available should anyone require support during this difficult time."
He also played midget AA hockey for the West Island Royals.
A second victim, a 15-year-old, was taken to hospital with minor injuries. A 17-year-old boy was uninjured. All three were from the Montreal area but often spent weekends and summers in the South Glengarry area.
“They were outside enjoying the rest of the day trying to take a perfect picture over the train tracks,” said family friend Joy Blanchard in a Facebook post.
Blanchard said her son Billy Dennison managed to flatten himself against a fence enough to dodge the train, and the injured boy, Tristan's cousin Bailey Morrissette-Bilney, jumped off the bridge and out of the way, which is how he sustained the injuries.
Tristan was unable to avoid the oncoming train.
Blanchard said the bridge is about two kilometres west of Lancaster and is a popular area for fishing and taking photos.
She posted the last photo of Tristan to Facebook. It was taken as the boys were hanging out under the train tracks in that area.
“My heart is so broken,” said another friend on Facebook, Matt McGrath. “We had the pleasure of watching you grow up each summer since you were just a little guy. You will be missed Tristan.”
Via Rail confirmed the three teens were in a restricted area at the time.
Last year there were 46 fatal train accidents involving people in restricted areas.
Via Rail issued a statement saying: "Most incidents involving our trains occur when people trespass on rail property or take unnecessary risks when crossing the tracks."
The investigation is ongoing.
Anyone with information is asked to call the OPP at 1-888-310-1122 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.