Editor’s note: The policy of the Daily News is to withhold the name of suspected suicide victims and only reports on an incident if it happens in a public space.
LaGRANGE — A young teen was killed Tuesday night about 11:15 p.m. after intentionally stepping in front of a moving train near the Jefferson Street bridge, which caused part of the train to derail when it engaged its emergency brakes, states a press release from LaGrange Police Department.
The victim was a student at LaGrange High School, the school system confirmed Wednesday afternoon.
“Early this morning, the Troup County School System family was saddened to learn about the loss of one of our LaGrange High students,” said Yolanda Stephen, director of public relations for the school system. “As a system, our focus at this time is helping our students and staff through the impact of this unexpected loss. … We respect the privacy of the student’s family; they are continuously in our thoughts and prayers.”
Crisis management teams were sent to the high school to speak to anyone affected, Stephen added.
“CSX’s sympathies are with those affected by this tragic accident,” CSX spokesperson Kristin Seay said in a written statement. “We appreciate the LaGrange community’s patience as we work to restore the area.”
According to the LaGrange police report, the conductor of the train was approaching the Jefferson Street tunnel when he spotted a person on the tracks, blew the horn and attempted to stop the locomotive.
The sudden braking caused five cars at the end of the train to overturn on Vernon Road at Gordon Street, known as Lee’s Crossing. Crews with the CSX railroad transportation company cleared the tracks Wednesday afternoon at Lee’s Crossing.
Train operations had resumed Wednesday afternoon, but the railroad crossing will remain closed until the safety devices are restored, Seay stated.
Three of the rail cars were empty, one carried molten sulphur and the other car was loaded with timber, CSX officials said. None of the products were released from the rail cars.
The train was traveling from Birmingham, Alabama, to Waycross, Georgia, according to CSX. The train had five locomotives, 113 loaded cars carrying various types of freight and 18 empty rail cars.
CSX worked with the LaGrange Police Department, Troup County Sheriff’s Office, Troup County Fire Department and the LaGrange Fire Department in investigating the death and clearing the area.
Reach the LaGrange Daily News at 706-884-7311.