WinSport tells fatality inquiry about security upgrades underway on bobsleigh tracks
During the fourth and final day of the fatality inquiry into the 2016 bobsleigh accident that killed 17-year-old twin brothers Jordan and Evan Caldwell, WinSport officials said the facility is looking at additional security measures on the tracks.
Chief operating officer John Sutherland told the court the park is looking into infrared sensors on the bobsled tracks. Sutherland said if anyone unauthorized was on the tracks, the sensors would trigger lights or an alarm.
Sutherland said lights being triggered could frighten any trespassers. However, he maintained on-the-ground foot patrol “could do a lot more.”
Sutherland said the park is also looking at adding security cameras on the track.
These new measures are in addition to other security features that were installed after the accident in 2016. The park had added permanent fencing with locks and increased their signage. A gate also blocks access up and down the hill to unauthorized vehicles.
WinSport CEO and president Barry Heck also testified before the courts, disagreeing with the notion of an “unsafe” culture at the sport facility.
Heck testified safety is their highest priority and they “continue to look at everything.”
“Safety permeates everything,” he said, adding “there is only so much you can do… we take all measures that we can. You can only go so far.”
WATCH: A fatality inquiry into an accident that killed twin brothers got underway Monday. Jordan and Evan Caldwell died after they crashed into a barrier on the bobsled track at WinSport two years ago. Jill Croteau reports.
Parents Jason and Shauna Caldwell also addressed the court, thanking everyone for their support and reiterating they don’t place blame on WinSport and its track for their sons’ deaths, adding they think the park did everything they could.
“We don’t hold anyone accountable for the loss of our sons. We share in that grief.”
The 17-year-old twins were part of a larger group that snuck onto the grounds of the WinSport facility with plastic sleds and headed down the icy track, which was built for the 1988 Olympics.
They hit a barricade, set up to divide the bobsled and luge runs, at high speed and were killed. Six other young men were taken to hospital.
The inquiry led by Judge Margaret Keelaghan will not assign legal responsibility but rather to find recommendations to prevent similar deaths in the future.