Shot of train tracks looking off into the distance with large sigal tower

Young amputee shares his story and message about rail safety

Operation Lifesaver launches Rail Safety Week with help from Metrolinx

Sep 24, 2018

There wasn’t a fight Scott Sackaney wasn’t willing to take on at 17 years old. He had a first-degree black belt in Taekwondo, with some experience in kickboxing and karate.

Sackaney had his whole life ahead of him but didn’t realize he was about to face the biggest fight of his life. After a night out with friends in 2012, he was hit by a train and ended up having both his right arm and leg amputated.

“I go to reach over and rip the blankets off me and I realize that there’s no arm there,” Sackaney recalled about waking up in the hospital. “There was nothing.”

He doesn’t remember being on the rail tracks near his home in Brantford that night. His strongest memories and emotions come from discovering what had happened and that he was lucky to be alive.

Sackaney’s story is one of many in Canada, where an average of more than 100 people are seriously injured or killed as the result of railway crossing or trespassing incidents every year. In 2018, crossing incidents have already resulted in four deaths and three serious injuries in Ontario.

Metrolinx teamed up with Operation Lifesaver to help launch Rail Safety Week on Monday. The effort is to raise awareness and provide information about staying safe around rail crossings and tracks.

Some of the messaging being offering during the campaign includes keeping off railway property and tracks. More specifically, not using train tracks as a shortcut in addition to obeying railway signs and signals.

“Younger kids out there like to hang around the tracks,” Sackaney said. “They think they’re invincible and everything like that. I was like that when I was younger but look what happened to me.”

Metrolinx is participating in outreach events in partnership with rail industry partners, safety organizations, law enforcements, and elected officials to promote safety and reduce preventable accidents.

The social media campaign during Operation Lifesaver Rail Safety Week will be incorporating the hashtags #RSW2018 #STOPTrackTragedies #GOsafely

VIDEO COURTESY: Operation Lifesaver Canada