An afternoon meant to commemoratea life moment turned out to be the last moment in a teens life, when the 17-year-oldOregonboy was struck and killed by a freight trainthat barreled through while he was near a train bridgeto pose forsenior photos, officialssaid.
The incident happened Saturday around 6 p.m. near the Troutdale Bridge along the Columbia River Highway in the city of Troutdale, located about 15 miles east of Portland, Union Pacific told Fox News.
The Multnomah County Sheriffs Officesaidthey believe the teenager and another person wereon the tracks taking photos to mark the boys senior year in high schoolwhen he was struck and killed by an oncomingUnion Pacific freight train.
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The other person, a female photographer, was very shaken up by the incident, officials told FOX12.
Union Pacific said that Multnomah County Sheriff deputies responded to a call that a teenager had been hit by a train and found the teen dead at the scene.
Our thoughts are with the teens family and friends, Union Pacific said in a statement to Fox News. We plead with parents, students and photographers to not take photos on or near the tracks.
The area where the tragedytook place has fences nearby and signs posted that warnNo Trespassing. In addition to No Trespassing stencils are emblazoned on the tracks themselves.
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The 17-year-olds identity has not yet been released by the medical examiners office.Someone who was in the area when the accident took place told FOX12 the train was stopped at the scene for several hours while police investigated.
Union Pacific told Fox News the trains crew was not hurt.
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According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, there were 560 trespasser fatalities on railroad tracks nationwide in 2017, an increase of 80 from the previous year. The trend in rail trespasser fatalities has substantially increased over a 10-year period, with a 25 percent increase over a decade, according to the agency.
Trespassing on railroad property is the leading cause of all rail-related deaths in the United States, the Federal Railroad Administration said in an October 2018 report. More people are struck and killed by trains each year while trespassing illegally entering or remaining on a railroad right-of-way than in motor vehicle collisions with trains at highway-rail grade crossings.
For those who do walk along train tracks, officials stress that oncoming trains are not able to stop quickly. A train traveling at 55 mph takes a mileor moreto come to a complete stop, according to the FRA.
Operation Lifesaver, the nonprofit rail safety education organization, has also urged photographers considering a photoshoot on tracks to go elsewhere.
An optical illusion makes it hard to determine a trains distance from you - and its speed, according to the group.B:
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