Breezing: A dangerous game that can turn deadly

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Every year, anywhere from 15 to 30 people are killed by trains, Mainly because they’re trespassing and are somewhere they aren’t supposed to be.

Breezing is a dangerous game that kids are playing while trespassing near train tracks. They do it for a quick adrenaline rush but it can end up deadly.

Amy Opfer lost her 14-year-old son Parker two days before his 8th grade graduation when he decided to go “breezing.”

Maple Park police chief Mike Acosta says, “Breezing is standing close to the train to feel the power of the train as it goes by. And the power of the wind and the power of the ground shaking.”

A month after Parker’s death, with the help of Union Pacific Railroad, Chief Acosta organized an Operation: Lifesaver seminar to educate the community about the dangers of trains.

Amy, along with Chief Acosta shared Parker’s story with WGN in hopes that other parents never have to experience the pain.

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  • Jesse

    I don’t know if it’s a small number for “breezing” but the opener is poorly written. There are HUNDREDS of fatalities each year, and 2012 was one of the highest at 442. With over 400 injured and probably severely. Please update your facts and be more prudent. Operation Life Saver, and FRA are great sources. Thank you

      • mike

        No, he didn’t deserve to die. Whats even harder to imagine is a woman who takes to the internet to belittle this boys mother by calling her a “deranged sociopath” and accusing her of crying “crocodile tears” less than 3 months after the tragic loss of her son. But then again, this same woman kicked the boys grieving father out of her house so I guess its par for the course When a person is that hateful. I can’t help but think that this boy would still be alive had he not had to reside under this woman’s roof. Amy Opfer, you have my deepest sympathies. I’m sorry Parker was surrounded by so much negativity the last year of his life. Trust me, he is in a MUCH better place now.

  • The Watchman

    The figure of 15-30 fatalities is only for IL; nationwide, it’s much higher. There were 451 trespassers killed in 2013, and another 431 people injured. Human being vs. train? That’s a very unfair match. And being hit by a train is only one of the ways someone can get hurt while trespassing on railroad property.
    The area thirty feet outside the rail can be a danger zone. That’s why Operation Lifesaver teaches “Stay off! Stay away! Stay alive!”

  • Don Paul

    I feel for they who have been hurt by this, but un fortunately it would seem that humans are the only species that breed down. What’s to be done?

  • trainman

    Too bad our railroad pulled out of safety programs to educate the public.
    Up hill slow.
    Down hill fast.
    Tonnage first.
    Safety last.

  • pvw

    Very interesting as I read this. Amy opfer kicked out the dead beat alcoholic father back in 2005. Long before the death of Parker. And no he did NOT deserve to die and if his father and pathetic girlfriend where actually watching him that night he would still be alive.

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