Railroad commissioner speaks out after pair of train crashes

CREATED Oct. 14, 2012

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 Kenosha-- A 16-year-old boy was hit by an Amtrak train Friday morning, while he was on his way to school. The boy was walking down the middle of the tracks and despite multiple warning train whistle, he failed to hear it coming due to his headphones.

"He decided to walk up the tracks as a shortcut to get to his bus stop and he had ear phones in his ears, walking right down the middle of the tracks," said Railroad Commissioner, Jeff Plale. 

He was flown by Flight for Life to Froedtert hospital and is recovering with broken bones. This is the second time this year where a boy was hit by a train because he could not hear it coming. 

"That was my first reaction. Oh my god. Here we go again," Plale said. 

In February, 11-year-old Joey Kramer was on his way to school in Wauwatosa when he was killed at the train crossing on 68Th street and State. He did not hear the train whistle or gate alarms because his ear buds were in and his hood was up. 

Although the Pleasant Prairie teen survived Friday's incident, Plale is worried that next time, that might not be the case. 

"This kid was lucky. He's burned up his four leaf clovers for the rest of his life. The next kid probably won't be so lucky," said Plale.