CHICAGO (CBS) — A 17-year-old boy was accidentally struck and killed by a Metra train near the Mont Clare Metra Station Sunday evening.
Two friends were enjoying a summer night while sitting on the viaduct when the dangers of hanging out near active railroad tracks hit home.
A friend says Isaias Ceja was walking toward him when he was brushed by the train just East of the Mont Clare Metra Station and thrown several yards. When emergency crews arrived it was too late; Ceja was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.
Less than 24 hours later, friends gathered beneath the viaduct with candles, a baseball cap and a balloon to not only remember Ceja, but also to mark his 18th birthday, which would have been Monday.
Ceja recently graduated from Prosser High School.
“I can only imagine if it were my son what I would be going through,” said Maria Aleman, a mother of one of Ceja’s friends. “So my prayers go out to his family, especially his mom, especially today on his birthday. I’m sure she’s having a rough time.”
Ceja had his own YouTube page, and dreamed of moving back to California to become a producer.
Neighbors say people crossing the tracks is a common site, and that an incident such as this occurring was only a matter of time.
“Many times I’ve called Metra police,” one neighbor said. “That is sad — that is a useless death that could have been prevented somehow for sure.”
Residents said they hope this tragedy will remind children and young adults of the hazards of hanging out along the tracks.
Friends told CBS 2’s Roseanne Tellez Ceja lived with his mother, stepdad, brother and younger sister, all of which said they are too distraught to talk.