Reporting Mike Parker
(CBS) — Friends of a teenager struck and killed by a train in Gary, Ind. on Wednesday afternoon are telling a chilling story of the tragedy and its aftermath.
They’re sharing their story with CBS 2’s Mike Parker.
As the Norfolk Southern freight train approached Delaware and 41st Avenue, two teenagers headed for the store ran across the tracks. One of them, a 17-year-old, beat the oncoming train. His friend followed.
He didn’t make it.
Fifteen-year-old Diquan Thomas was struck and killed.
“I’m trying to grab him and stuff, saying ‘Diquan, get up.’ He’s looking at us like he wasn’t there no more,” says his friend, Kimberly Winfield.
Thomas had just started his freshman year at Lew Wallace High School in Gary.
“My brother was the last person to speak to him before he passed away,” Kimberly recalled. “All he said was, ‘I’m hurt, I can’t do it, I’m hurt.”
Diquan’s friend Demetrio Campbell said he could not sleep last night.
“I woke up three times,” he says. “Every time a train came by I woke up.”
The victim’s girlfriend placed a mound of teddy bears where the young man died.
“The message is you’re not forgotten and you’ll always be in my heart. Rest in peace,” Kristina Winfield says.