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BC Couples killed by train celebrated for 70 years together



CTVNews.ca Employees, with a report from CTV Vancouver's Breanna Karstens-Smith

Published Monday, December 31, 2018 21:11 EST

Last updated Monday, December 31, 2018 10:11 AM EST

A couple who died together after being hit by a freight train in British Columbia on Sunday recently celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

Christian Wantke, 90, and Irmgard Wantke, 88, died after the car they stopped on a Canadian Pacific track in Langley, B.C., about 50 miles east of Vancouver.

The grandchild Kristi Martins described the couple as dedicated to their family and to each other. She said they celebrated their anniversary in September.

The RCMP said the car was stopped on the track when a cross arm came down. A westbound CN Rail train slammed into the vehicle and pushed it for more than a mile.

Sgt. David Brown of the Langley RCMP told CTV Vancouver that the first respondents attempted to rescue the couple.

The police are continuing to investigate what happened. A mechanical problem or a medical episode is not excluded.

Langley Deputy Chief of Fire Brian Godlonton said first respondents trained for similar accidents last month in the city.

"Unfortunately, they happen too often," he said.

The province installs signs at several central junctions that will warn drivers in the past about coming trains.


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