8-year-old boy struck, killed by train

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It is a busy stretch of track through Northwest Indiana where all too often, locals try to cross on foot, even with a train bearing down.

CaptureOn Sunday, stuffed animals, candles and a bible mark the spot where 8-year-old Jaylen Harris died Saturday afternoon.

Jaylen’s grandfather, James Harris said he was on “his way back to the library to play some games.”

Sunday morning, James came to the spot where his grandson was hit and killed– just a block from his home in East Chicago.

He and others who came to mourn Jaylen today say this section of track is dangerous.

“It’s been brought to the attention of the railroads,” James said, “I do believe they should have something for the kids– for all the kids who play on this block.”

Jalen Miller also sees the problem here– with no pedestrian crossing gates, many people take a chance.

“Jaylen and a few of his friends were coming from the library and they were trying to beat the train, Jalen said, “But he didn’t beat the train. He ended up getting hit by the train.”

He found Jaylen lying next to the tracks. “I checked his pulse. He was dead,” Jalen said.

Jaylen attended nearby Harrison Elementary School, he loved professional wrestling and playing with the other kids on his street.

“He was into sports and stuff. He wasn’t a bad kid. He was always at the library. It’s just messed up. How could a train just hit him like that.”

It’s a question that may find an answer in the future, as his family comes to grips with this death just days before Christmas.

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  • John

    Sorry to hear that about anyone, but the facts are he got in front of the train. He was trying to beat it. Crossing gates would not make a difference, they would still try to beat it. There are choices in life and he made a bad one. Probably happens every day in this world.

  • beAresponsiblePArent

    Such a tragic loss and noone should have to endure the loss of a child/loved one but parents need to take responsibilaty for their children. Things are not the way they used to be 30,20 heck , even 10 years ago! You do not leave your kids unnattended, if you cannot drive them there, walk them there. supervise your children. Don't rely on them to take care of themselves.

  • Judi

    i am sorry about his death, but at 8, an adult should have been with him. Other parents, please walk and talk about safety. Rest in peace.

  • nomoretrains

    This is ridiculous. These trains are EVIL! They should be BANNED at once. We all need to petition the White House for an IMMEDIATE BAN on ALL TRAINS!! More and more of our precious children (that we obviously can't be bothered to teach or pay attention to) are being killed by these EVIL DEATH MACHINES every year. This is clearly 100% the fault of the train. It clearly doesn't matter that 99.999% of all people are responsible enough to ride and avoid being hit by trains. This poor little boy was SENSELESSLY MURDERED by one of these awful machines, and ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!! Please do your part and write your local Congressman and tell them you're fed up with these CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY and we need to GET RID of these HORRIBLE MURDEROUS TRAINS NOW!!! And we won't rest until every last destructive, deadly train in this Playskool country is eradicated!!

  • LaWanna

    Sorry for the familys’ loss. But how do u stop a fast moving train from gitting a slow moving child? PARENTS STOP BEING LAZY-TEACH UR CHILDREN ABOUT SAFETY. May that boy REST IN PEACE.

  • Christy Stewart

    First of all, this precious little boy was trying to go to the library, and in this town, there is a train every 10minutes. If they are coming they will end up stopping at the gates for 15 minutes or longer, and then before it even moves another train is coming the other way. There is NO OTHER way to get to the other side, the trains are practically in the backyards of homes. Of course you do not want to crawl under or climb over the train if it's stopped, but I have seen adult doing this. It is so frustrating to be stopped for a half hour or more standing waiting for them to move. This isn't a train every few hours there is a train or trains every 10 minutes here. Honestly, there needs to be a barrier or a walk over at some of these crossings here, because there are children that need to attend the school and there only way is crossing the train tracks, and if they are late then they are marked late or tardy. It's winter and waiting for trains to pass two at a time can be frustrating for a child, I understand that he was to close to the tracks. Sorry but I still feel that there should be some other safe way over these tracks when train traffic is constant and steady as it is here. To say that the parents shouldn't have let him walk alone is just wrong. I am sure everyone that lives here will agree the trains are almost arrogant as they block the crossings. I stood there one day and watched a train stop his tail end two cars short of clearing the gates and sat there for 15 minutes. Either way it's not the parents fault and it's not the little boy's fault, he was 8, there are 20 30 year old's that use poor judgement, he was only 8. If there were better control on the time limits of these trains that stop or some control on how much train traffic that passes through here maybe people wouldn't be in such a hurry to try and beat the train. I have seen ambulances stuck by trains, and to me that is incomprehensible, someone is in need of emergency care and the ambulance is stuck by a train. something needs to be done and quickly before another innocent life is snatched before it's time because of a train!!!

  • Mark Wells

    I have an 8 year old boy. When I was a kid we messed around near the tracks all the time. We raced them (on foot) hopped on them, put pennies on the tracks, etc. It was very dangerous and in hindsight we were very lucky. There aren't any tracks close to my son's house, but I'm going to make sure I warn him about trains now. I'm sorry this little boy was killed, it is very sad.

  • Mark Wells

    I see from the photo there are more than one set of tracks. Often people walk around a stopped train only to be struck by an oncoming train on the far tracks. Especially kids who are running and in a hurry as they always are. This happens to adults in cars as well, even ambulances as Christy Stewart pointed out. People see one stopped train and think it's safe.

  • Mark Wells

    The parents don't need to be lectured right now. It irritates me that people can be so heartless. I read the same article, the parents weren't even interviewed. No one was blaming the train, they mentioned a lack of crossing gates. I assure you if this happened in Geneva or Naperville, there would be a candlelight vigil and a thousanad people would be demanding the resignation of Burlington Northern's president.

  • Phasegap

    Here's the deal people. Young or old, DO NOT GET IN FRONT OF MY TRAIN!!!!! It doesn't matter how slow I'm running. You will end up DEAD!!!!!! Never hit a person, but I've hit a lot of animals, and it's not a pretty sight. And for all of the train haters out there, just remember that most of the crap that you buy is transported by rail!!!!

  • Phasegap

    To Christy Stewart. You need to realize that trains are controlled in much the same way as aircraft. The major differencei is that we are on the ground, on a set of fixed tracks, unlike planes that can be vectored in any direction. When the dispatcher or signal says stop, we stop. So the next time your held up by a train, please remember that it's for your safety, And have a great Merry Christmas!,,,,,

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