(Elkhart, Indiana – December 20, 2013)
An as-yet unidentified 15-year-old boy who was attempting to cross Norfolk Southern railroad tracks with two friends at a crossing closed to vehicular traffic in Elkhart, IN Friday night at about 10:45 P.M. was recovering in a South Bend, IN hospital after being struck by one of the daily average of 53 trains that pass through the corridor at a top speed of 79 mph.
The boy, who told his sister he would be right back when he left his home near the railroad tracks Friday night, received injury to his lower left leg when the 124-car train that had come from Cleveland, OH and was pulling into the NS yard in Elkhart.
There are four tracks at the former crossing of Willard Avenue, which Federal Railroad Administration records indicate was closed in 2008 and concrete barriers installed across the former lanes of traffic. There is no fence to prevent pedestrian crossing, however.
The victim was initially taken to Elkhart General Hospital, but was then transferred to Memorial Hospital in South Bend due to the severity of his injury. The only details offered by law enforcement officers at the scene were that the boy was alive when he was removed from the scene by ambulance.