Railroad News

9-Year-Old On Spring Break Killed By Union Pacific Train

(Russell, Kansas – March 22, 2012)

A Russell, Kansas boy, accompanying one of his parents to work as he enjoyed the annual Spring Break from school, died beneath the wheels of a slow-moving eastbound Union Pacific freight train just after 11:00 A.M. Thursday morning between North Lincoln and Van Houten Streets near Russell Ready-Mix on the city’s west side.

Nine-year-old Isaac Ehrlich, the son of Michael Ehrlich and Mandy Funk, both of Russell, was playing near the UPRR tracks when he was hit by the Denver, CO-to-Salina, KS train. Russell Police Chief Jon Quinday said the young victim was pronounced dead at the scene after his officers responded to a report of a pedestrian being struck by a train.

“It takes a while for the train to stop,” said UP Spokesman Mark Davis as he heaped sympathy upon the train’s crew for the tragedy. “I can only imagine it would be horrific, because they know they can’t stop,” he said, adding that “It’s very difficult for them.”

Comfort for the family of the youngster, however, had to come from the community and not railroad officials, as Russell resident Tina Roberts said “It’s heartbreaking. I know the town will band together and do whatever they can for the family.”