HOUSTON – A 16-year old Waltrip High School student was struck and killed by a train on Wednesday, October 14.
The incident occurred on the tracks near TC Chester and West 34th Street around 8:45am. The victim and his friend were walking along the tracks when they noticed a train approaching from behind. They friend began to run away and was able to avoid the train, but his companion was not.
Students reported that many of them use the train tracks as a shortcut to school, causing alarm and concern among parents. This isn’t the first time a train-related incident has occurred. Ten years ago, a Houston seventh-grader lost his legs as he tried to hop aboard a train. The then-13-year-old Deady Middle School student was injured in May 2005 when he tried to jump aboard a moving rail car to get to school more quickly, police and witnesses said at the time.
The train resumed its route about 11:20am, and investigators later were talking along the trestle, wearing orange safety vests and hardhats.
The train is owned by Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway. BNSF reported that the train was traveling 36mph when the emergency brakes were activated – around 100 yards away from the victim. It takes one mile for a train going 50mph to stop completely. BNSF and HPD will be reviewing camera footage from the train as part of the ongoing investigation.