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High School Freshman Killed by MBTA Commuter Train at Commonly Used Footpath

(Newton, Massachusetts – September 16, 2016)

A 14-year-old high school freshman student using what witnesses said was a commonly used short cut across Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority railroad tracks was killed Friday evening.  The victim was later identified as Eli Pilat, who had only recently moved to Sudbury along with his family. Eli was struck by a Framingham-Worcester train at about 8:45 P.M., EDT Friday evening near the West Newton highway off ramp in Newton, MA.

Although numerous news media, including Boston’s WBZ-TV, CBS News, reported that “The area where this happened is often used as a cut through,” MBTA “Transit police would only say the teenager was trespassing,” but later softened their criticism of the as-yet unidentified by name victim, who was pronounced dead at the scene, stating that “It appears to be a tragic accident.”

The youth was a student at Lincoln-Sudbury Regional High School, whose principal, Bella Wong, issued a statement saying “While we were just getting to know him here at Lincoln-Sudbury, we were already beginning to appreciate his love of music and strong sense of self-advocacy.  I extend our deepest sympathy and compassion to his family during this time of grief for their tragic loss.”