(Newport News, Virginia – October 14, 2012)
An 11-year-old Hampton, VA boy, visiting relatives in Newport News, VA Sunday afternoon, had the lower portion of his left leg severed as he joined children playing around trains and CSX railroad tracks at the 400 block of Bellwood Road, a location where there may have once been a crossing, as the access to autos is blocked with a section of red-striped steel, but no fence or other barrier blocks pedestrian access to the railroad tracks.
A witness, James Slater, said he had seen children playing near the tracks days earlier and even hopping rides on passing coal cars, and was in the process of calling 911 to report the Sunday activity when he heard some of them screaming. He and others ran to investigate and found the youngster had pulled himself from the tracks and was lying on the ground, but was missing part of his left leg, severed just below the knee.
Another unnamed witness told WAVY-TV that it was a gruesome scene, once investigators and emergency personnel arrived, to see them searching for the missing limb.
The young victim was transported by ambulance to a local hospital before being airlifted to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital in Norfolk, VA, where doctors reported they had been able to re-attach the boy’s severed leg and hoped it would heal, although he would face many surgical procedures in the process. He would then be transferred to Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters in Hampton, VA for recovery and rehabilitation.
Newport News resident Turkessa Banks, the victim’s aunt, whom his family was visiting, identified the youngster only by his nickname, “Juju”. The area where the accident occurred is open and surrounded by homes, with a “no trespassing” sign at the closed crossing.