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'Fairly emotional for everybody': Teen struck by LRT visits emergency crews who rescued him

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Several weeks after a teen was stuck under an LRT train in Kitchener, he’s now up and walking.

Around 2:30 in the afternoon on Wednesday March 8, Keelan Zondervan, 16, was struck by an LRT train and became trapped underneath it. It happened near Cameron Heights Collegiate Institute.

Officials at the site of an LRT crash involving a pedestrian in Kitchener on March 8. (Krista Simpson/CTV News Kitchener)

Fire crews were on scene within four minutes, using jacks and cribbing to lift the train.

"We initially had somebody under the train, a firefighter. Then once paramedics got there, there was a paramedic underneath the train. They started an IV and did a number of other items. We were in charge of the lifting portion," Tom O’Hara, the Public Education Officer for Kitchener Fire said.

Emergency crews with police, fire, and paramedics all worked together to help get the teen out.

"The emotions get pushed into a very small corner of your mind and your training just takes over," O’Hara said.

Zondervan was airlifted to Hamilton General Hospital, and was on life support. The teen is now recovering at home, using a walker for support.

"Very happy. The outcome was very positive. I would say, probably the best case scenario for that type of accident with an LRT train," O’Hara said.

On Friday, Zondervan visited some of the officials who helped rescue him.

"It was fairly emotional for everybody. Especially the parents and the young man. But in our eyes it's great to see, because lots of times we don't learn the outcomes of a lot of the people that we tend to," O’Hara said.

According to O’Hara, the chance to talk with the boy has meant a lot to the first responders.

"On average, because it's such a large piece of machinery, the outcomes are not always positive. It was great for us to see. So we train with the LRT every single year to keep our skills as high as we can, for these exact scenarios," O’Hara said.

Waterloo regional police said there is no update in the ongoing investigation into the crash.

Fire officials want to remind residents to be careful around LRT tracks, saying pedestrians should wait until the train passes before they walk across.

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