Cyclist dies after being hit by a train in Christchurch

A cyclist has died after being hit by a train at Fendalton Rd crossing, Christchurch.

Reports say that the incident happened at around 8am. The Kiwi freight train was heading south, from Picton to Christchurch, but it has not yet been confirmed which destination the cyclist was headed.

“We don’t know [his] age and we don’t know what has happened,” said Senior Sergeant Anton ten Hove.

Nic Hill, headmaster at Christchurch Boy’s High School, said in a statement that some of their students witnessed the accident while on their way to school. “The ones that we know about are currently with [guidance counsellor] Tom Matthews and our school guidance team and some have been collected by parents and taken home.”

Principal Pauline Duthie of the Christchurch Girl’s High School said that some of their students also witnessed the incident, and has confirmed that the cyclist was not from their school.

“Please be reassured that our traumatic incident procedures are in place and senior staff are managing the situation,” she said. “The guidance team are available for any students who wish to see them or need support. If you have any queries, please contact the school office.”

According to reports, the driver of the train will be relieved of his duties, and will be offered counseling. “Unfortunately these kinds of incidents do happen from time to time. It is very traumatic for the victim and his family but also for our staff, the emergency services and those who witnessed it,” said a spokeswoman for KiwiRail.

Some roads in the area will be blocked, but detours are being placed. Investigations are ongoing.