An Acton man, who was walking from Acton to Guelph along the train tracks, Tuesday night was killed when he was struck by a VIA Rail passenger train. Guelph Police, at press time, did not release the name of the victim who was hit a few hundred metres east of Watson Rd. in Guelph at about 10 p.m., but Cheryl and David Berry of Storey Dr. confirmed the man killed was their 22year-old son Michael David Berry. Cheryl said taking lengthy walks was not unusual for Michael who had left their home heading to Guelph at 6 p.m. "He loved walking," said Michael's dad Dave. "He often walked out of town. This time he decided to take the train tracks." Dave said they became worried when Michael didn't come home later that
night, or call them. "He would always find a way to get in touch with us," said Dave, who filed a missing person report with Halton Police later Tuesday night. It wasn't until Wednesday afternoon they learned their son had been hit by a train. Cheryl said she was told three trains had passed her son during his four-hour walk, and she believes, possibly due to exhaustion, Michael misjudged how close he was to the track when he was hit. The Toronto bound train, carrying 28 passengers, stopped well over a kilometer beyond the initial site of impact. Bernie LeBlanc, director of operations for VIA, said there have been problems with this stretch of track before. Dave Berry said his son Michael grew up in Acton, attended elementary and high school there, and was continuing his education part-time.
"He loved to draw and paint. He was very interested (in art), and was hoping to become a commercial artist," said Dave. He said his son loved the outdoors, hiking, walking, skiing and golf, and remembers fondly several canoe trips they took together. "He had a heart of gold," said Cheryl, adding her son was a "caring, gentle person" who "would never badmouth anybody." Berry is survived by his parents and his brother Stephen, 20. Visitation will be at the MacKinnon Family Funeral Home (Shoemaker Chapel) Monday (Feb. 6) from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. The funeral service will be held at St. Albanthe-Martyr Anglican Church, 19 St. Alban's Dr., on Tuesday (Feb. 7) at 2 p.m.