(CBS) — The final moments of a 14-year-old’s life are shown on a Union Pacific railroad videotape seen just yesterday by the police chief in Maple Park, about 60 miles west of Chicago.
It’s called “breezing” – getting close to a passing train and feeling its power.
Maple Park Police Chief Mike Acosta said he believes that’s what 14-year-old Parker Wolfsmith was doing before he died almost three weeks ago, just days before his 8th grade graduation.
“He approaches the train as it’s approaching the crossing, and he stops a second, just a few feet from the tracks, and then leans forward and gets hit by the cowpusher that they have in front,” Acosta said.
After talking to friends of Parker’s, he believes this was not the only time the teenager did this.
Acosta said he is working with Union Pacific to bring safety classes to Maple Park to warn kids about the deadly danger involved in breezing. He said, even though some kids might be scared straight right now, that’s expected to wear off.
Michael Wolfsmith, the teen’s father, tells CBS 2’s Brad Edwards his son was like his best friend. He says the younger Wolfsmith was probably trying “to get some kind of stupid thrill and lost his life for it.”