PETERSBURG, Va. (WRIC) — A teenage boy was killed after being struck by a train in Petersburg Tuesday morning.
Authorities say the teenager was walking on the railroad tracks in the path of an eastbound Norfolk Southern train with three locomotives and 16 rail cars. The train crew sounded a horn to alert the teen, who was reportedly wearing headphones, but the train could not stop in time.
“I heard the train,” said Rosa Lunsford, who lives near the tracks. “Real loud, loud honking.”
Fire officials tell 8News that the train was going speeds of 60 miles per hour, which is the limit.
After the train hit the boy, Petersburg School officials were on scene along with police and fire crews. Petersburg Schools has not yet confirmed whether or not the victim was a student.
“Sad, very sad,” Lunsford added. “And for the people, the parents, whoever’s family … It’s a terrible tragedy.”
Petersburg Police Chief John Dixon, III said it’s important to always be aware when you’re in the area of train tracks.
“I tell you, the biggest thing is that we need to be very careful at any crossings, especially at railroad crossings, because trains cannot stop, it takes a whole lot for trains to stop,” Chief Dixon said. “Even if they see you and warn you, the stopping distance is just so great.”