Christopher Campbell, 17, killed when crossing railroad tracks
VERMILION — A 17-year-old boy was killed Monday night while walking across a set of train tracks.
Christopher L. Campbell of Sperry Road, Vermilion, died at the scene shortly after 11:15 p.m., Vermilion police Lt. Rich Labis said. He was going to be a senior at Vermilion High School this fall.
Labis said Campbell was walking with a group of three friends near the Perry and Washington streets railroad crossing just before the accident. He crossed in front of the train as the group was heading south toward a home of one of the teens, Labis said.
Labis said police are still investigating to determine how the accident happened. The other teens told police they heard the train but have no idea why Campbell still decided to cross. There is no indication right now that the teens were attempting to play a game of chicken with the train, but it is not being ruled out as a cause, Labis said.
The crossing there has two sets of tracks.
Campbell was hit by a Norfolk Southern train that was heading west toward Chicago at the time of the accident, said Robin Chapman, company spokesman. The freight train was coming from Croxton, N.J., and likely was traveling about 50 mph, as that is the set track speed for that area, Chapman said.
The news of Campbell’s death has shocked the community, with friends and acquaintances expressing their sorrow for the family. Some called, and others just stopped by the family’s two-story country home with food.
Campbell is the youngest son of Vicki and Donald Campbell. He has one older brother.
The family was unavailable for additional comment. Funeral arrangements are pending at the Riddle Funeral Home.
Longtime family friend Renee Dore said she is just devastated.
She described Campbell as a mild-mannered, fun-loving kid who smiled a lot and was raised in a good family environment. He enjoyed babysitting for neighbors and was looking forward to starting driver’s education classes in the coming weeks.
“He was just the nicest boy,” Dore said. “God must have needed another angel because he definitely has one now.”
Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.