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BU Student Killed by Train

Dean Elmore urges students to let their parents know they’re OK

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A Boston University student was apparently struck and killed by an outbound MBTA commuter rail train near 25 Buick Street late Tuesday night. University officials have contacted the student’s family, but have not yet made his identity public, pending official disclosure of his name by the state Medical Examiner and MBTA Transit Police.

MBTA Transit Police report that officers responding to a call at 12:15 a.m. found the body of the 17-year-old male on the tracks of the Worcester line, under the Massachusetts Turnpike. Police say the student appeared to have been crossing the tracks when he was struck by the train. No foul play is suspected and there is no ongoing danger. The incident is being investigated by Transit Police detectives along with representatives of the Suffolk County District Attorneys office.

“The University’s thoughts and prayers are with the student’s family,” says Kenneth Elmore, associate provost and dean of students. He asks that BU students reach out to their families as soon as possible to let them know that they are safe. Elmore (SED’87) says that counseling support is available for all students, faculty, and staff, on campus or abroad, and urges anyone seeking help to contact one of the following resources:

  • Marsh Chapel chaplains can be reached at 617-353-3560.
  • Behavioral Medicine providers at Student Health Services can be reached at 617-353-3569.
  • Sexual Assault Response & Prevention Center (SARP) counselors can be reached at 617-353-SARP (7277).
  • Counseling is also available for faculty and staff through the Faculty & Staff Assistance Office, 617-353-5381.
  • Center for Anxiety and Related Disorders is at 617-353-9610.

Leslie Aun, a spokesperson for Keolis Commuter Services. which operates the MBTA’s commuter rail service, told the Boston Globe that 38 passengers were on train #539 when the body was discovered west of Yawkey Station. Aun said the commuter rail train came to a halt around 11:40 p.m. and remained in place until about 2:38 a.m. with the passengers on board. Buses transported passengers on other trains.

BU Today will provide updates as they become available.

12 Comments

12 Comments on BU Student Killed by Train

  • Jo Anne on 09.07.2016 at 12:16 pm

    My heart aches and my prayers are going out for this family and friends. Such a tragedy a parent should never have to experience.

  • peter O on 09.07.2016 at 1:38 pm

    Such tragic news, nothing prepares a parent for such a loss. In the blink of an eye the world has changed for so many. Prayers to the family and friends.

  • Matt Bishop on 09.07.2016 at 3:03 pm

    Just dropped my 17yr old off on Sun. This is really scary! Prayers go out to the family.

  • Ginger Crystal on 09.07.2016 at 6:47 pm

    Is it an accident? So sad. :(

  • Michael on 09.08.2016 at 8:29 am

    We should allow for innocent possibilities like maybe he was escaping an attempted mugging.
    A cursory look at Google Street View shows a chain link fence on both sides of the tracks, with signs saying ” Danger Do not cross High speed rail line”.
    Perhaps not having lived near such a line before, he may not have realized that given:
    – less than 1/4 mile sight line
    – noise of mass pike
    – number of closely spaced tracks
    – speed of train

    That he had perhaps less than 10 seconds to save his life in the best case (alert/aware of danger and looking out for train in correct direction). Some people freeze in those situations, or have difficulty determining the exact path the train is on to avoid, or simply don’t hear the train in time.

    In any case on the spectrum, a terrible situation to find oneself in, and our profound sympathies are expressed.

  • BUMom on 09.08.2016 at 8:51 am

    Prayers for the family and friends.
    This is a horrible tragedy and no parent is ever prepared for. May their God give them strength and peace.

  • Wayne Ian Lewis on 09.08.2016 at 11:04 am

    Today when my son informed us of this tragedy, I felt so utterly devastated and confused. We just dropped off our 17 year old son last week. No parent should have to undergo this and my family and I will say a special prayer for his family.

    May God bless his soul!

  • Mike Prescott on 09.08.2016 at 11:36 am

    Boston.com is reporting that it is a student from China. Over 10% of all the freshmen are from China and it is another unfortunate situation where a student has traveled half way around the world choosing to attend this great university and tragedy strikes.

    http://www.boston.com/news/local-news/2016/09/07/body-of-young-man-found-dead-on-boston-train-tracks

    I was there when we had the memorial for Lu Lingzi and it was one of the saddest things I have ever seen.

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/chinese-victim-of-marathon-bombing-remembered-at-boston-university/

  • Catherine Caldwell-Harris on 09.08.2016 at 11:58 am

    Parents and society need to better teach children and young adults not to cross train tracks if there is any chance of a train approaching, and certainly not to ever cross if signs say “Do not cross.”

    I have been a faculty member at BU for many years. Students have been killed before by the commuter rail because they thought the tracks a cool place to hang out or have a beer.

    I’ve been sad before when I read those stories. But this time I want to tell my story.

    As a 11 year old girl, I tried to beat a train, oncoming at me, while riding my bike, because I didn’t want to be late (again) for dinner. I thought it was a simple matter of riding my bike across the tracks. I was hit and dragged up the tracks on my bike, almost died, had multiple fractures, spent 3 months in the hospital, foot almost amputated, walked with a limp for 2 decades as teenager and young woman, just had hip replacement surgery as a middle-aged woman, a longterm reminder of my hip and femur fractured and pinned due to the train accident.

    Parents — if you just dropped off your child at BU and realize trains are scary, you are correct. Speak to your son or daughter about respecting warning signs and fences surrounding train lines. Tell your loved ones: Those signs and fences are not trying to thwart your freedom of movement. They are trying to save your life.

  • Just another BU parent on 09.08.2016 at 1:24 pm

    Very sobering and we should not look for exceptional circumstances. New arrivals on the BU campus quickly realize that the train tracks are very dangerous given that they are curved and one cannot see far down the track, that crossing Storrow drive on foot is insanely dangerous, and that trucks get stuck under the low bridges on Storrow drive despite all the efforts to prevent this from happening. There’s much history here. The challenge is for newly arrived students and visitors to be aware of this history, … in order to avoid being part of it.

  • Dena Ferreira on 09.08.2016 at 1:53 pm

    This is truly devastating Imagining the anguish this young man’s parents must feel today is sobering. I wish to God there was a better way to protect these children crossing the street from even the smaller trains that don’t move fast I imagine kids drinking at night and not being aware of their surroundings and it scares me. My love and empathy go out to this boy and his family.

  • Sad citizen on 09.12.2016 at 8:56 am

    So very sad for the young mans family, but also for the engineer. One cannot imagine his feelings after this tragic accident.

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