(Willoughby, Ohio – September 28, 2017)
An autistic youth who suffered from Asperger’s Syndrome and was a senior student at Willoughby South High School near Euclid, OH, died Thursday after he was struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train. Tragically the teenager was not found until the next day on a double track rail corridor which handles a daily average of 21 trains operating at a maximum allowable speed of 60 mph.
Trenton Sobolewski of Willoughby, OH, was found deceased along the tracks near Dille Road in Euclid a day after his mother frantically reported him missing to local police authorities. Officials ruled the tragedy as accidental, but had no explanation as to why the striking of a pedestrian was not reported by the railroad. Local police also had questions about why it took so long to find his body on such a heavily-used stretch of track.
The young man was considering a career in graphic, design, according to his mother, Janice Dukes, who told The Cleveland Plain Dealer that , although her son was socially awkward when he was younger, he overcame the difficulty to become a high-functioning, well-liked teenager who had the tendency to “stick up for other students who were bullied.”
She told Cleveland Plain Dealer staff writer Evan MacDonald that “he was very loving and positive” and that “He shared the light he had with everyone around him.”