(Eudora, Kansas – November 1, 2014)
Two 16-year-old boys, one from Eudora, KS and the other from Lawrence, KS, received serious injuries about 3:30 P.M.,CDT Saturday afternoon when an eastbound BNSF freight train surprised them as they were “hanging out” on a railroad bridge over a creek on city property near the Eudora water treatment plant close to the Wakarusa River.
Both boys attempted to outrun the train, one of seven daily trains, including a pair of Amtrak passenger operations, that run through the rail corridor at speeds as high as 79 mph, but were unsuccessful, as one jumped into the water beneath the trestle and the other was struck a glancing blow by the train’s locomotive.
The victims were airlifted to Kansas City hospitals, one to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City, MO, the other to the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. The teens, whom law enforcement officials refused to identify to news media due to their non-adult status, both suffered multiple fractures in the accident.
“Kids are down there all the time,” Eudora resident Nancy Staples told the Lawrence Journal-World, attesting to how common it was for area youth to play on the railroad tracks. “My son used to go to the railroad tracks. They (the victims) are lucky it’s only fractures.”
Officers from the Kansas Highway Patrol, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and Eudora Police Dept. investigated the accident for which Lawrence-Douglas County Fire & Medical provided first responders.