A 60-year-old community volunteer from Windsor Junction is dead after the car she was driving was hit by a Via Rail passenger train just metres from her home.

Longtime resident Julie Vials, originally from England, was struck in her car by the train heading from Halifax to Montreal at a private unmarked crossing that doesn’t have warning signs or lighted signals.

The accident happened just after 1 p.m. at 464 Windsor Junction Rd. next to Watson Lane. Vials was the only person inside the car. None of the 46 passengers aboard the train were injured.

“The train hit the back part of the vehicle, causing the collision,” Halifax RCMP spokeswoman Const. Tamu Bracken said.

The victim’s blue Hyundai Accent was heavily damaged and ended up on its roof just metres from the crossing. The train received minimal damage and eventually continued on its route.

Vials had lived for several decades in a white house just behind where the accident took place.
What puzzles neighbours is she crossed the tracks at the point where the accident took place “probably 10 times a day” and knew the Via train came around the same time daily.

A woman who lived across from the accident ran to the scene and saw Vials being taken out of the car by paramedics and firefighters.

The victim was transported to hospital and pronounced dead at 4:48 p.m.

“Right now it’s too early to say what caused the collision,” Bracken said. “Our traffic analysts were on scene and once they have a report ready we’ll be able to release that information.”

“(She was) enthusiastic for the community,” area Coun. Barry Dalrymple said about Vials. “Just one of those people always willing to pitch in and help.”

Big loss for community

• Area Coun. Barry Dalrymple knew Julie Vials well and said “this is a big loss for the community.”

• Dalrymple said Vials worked on various volunteer boards and was a former volunteer firefighter.