A female Fleming Island High School student was struck and killed by a train Thursday morning, Clay County school officials said.
“Once people started finding out near the end of the day, it was kind of quiet,” said Fleming Island High School student Marla Stephens.
“Everyone was just upset, and that kind of tore me up a little because it’s sad to see all my track teammates sad about it,” student Eric Alexander added.
One student told Action News Jax she was “still in shock,” and the victim was one of her best friends.
Amtrak Train 53 hit the student at 7:59 a.m. at Doctors Lake Drive, according to Amtrak Corporate Communications. The student was on the tracks when the train hit, Amtrak said in a statement. None of the 329 passengers were hurt, the company said.
Action News Jax radio news partner NEWS 104.5 WOKV spoke to a passenger who was on board during the incident.
“It is such a tragedy no matter what the circumstances were," passenger Hunter Schon said. "It’s too bad and you know all we can do is pray for whoever it was and their family and anyone who was affected by it.”
The Orange Park Police Department is investigating the incident.
Amtrak said it is cooperating with the investigation. A new crew is on the way to work on board. Train 53 is the Auto Train and it was heading to Sanford at the time of the incident.
Clay County school officials released the following statement regarding the student's death:
“Clay County District Schools is deeply saddened by the sudden loss of a Fleming Island High School student involved in a train crash this morning. Our hearts are heavy and our condolences go out to the family, friends, and the community. To support the well-being of students and staff, mental health counselors will be available today and as needed during this difficult time.”
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