Potential teen suicide causes train derailment, LaGrange police confirm

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UPDATE:

12:00 p.m. — A News 3 reporter on the scene says crews expect to be working on the derailment cleanup all day Wednesday. The roadways are now clear for normal driving traffic.

The LaGrange Police Department has released the name of the victim to the public. Out of respect for the young man’s family and friends in mourning, News 3 will not publish his name until memorial preparations are set.


(ORIGINAL STORY)

LAGRANGE, Ga — A local teen is dead and a road is blocked by derailed train cars after an accident late Tuesday night, CSX railroad company confirms.

The company says in an official statement a pedestrian was walking on the train tracks at about 11:45 p.m. near Jefferson Street and Vernon Street.

The train crew tells LaGrange police they saw the 14-year-old victim walk onto the tracks. LaGrange Criminal Investigations Sargent William Nelson says the CSX train conductor was concerned the teen was trying to commit suicide and tried to hit the emergency brakes. He says the sudden force caused five train cars to accidentally derail.

The CSX press release says three of the cars were empty, one was carrying timber logs and the other was full of molten sulfur. Nothing fell or leaked out of either train car.

The Troup County School system confirms the teen killed was a student at LaGrange High School.

“As a system, our focus at this time is helping our students and staff through the impact of this unexpected loss,” a release by the county Board of Education says. “To do so, we have dispersed crisis management teams that are available on-site.”

“CSX’s sympathies are with those affected by this tragic accident. We appreciate the LaGrange community’s patience as we work to restore the area,” the company says in the release.

CSX says as of 9 a.m., crews are still working to move the fallen train cars. The company confirms Vernon Street is still closed.

The train was on it’s way to Waycross, Georgia from Birmingham, Alabama. CSX confirms the procession included 113 loaded cars carrying various types of freight and 18 empty rail cars.

News 3 has a crew headed to the scene to learn more about the person killed.This is a developing story. Stay with News 3 for updates.

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