WAYNE, NJ (CBSNewYork) — Police are looking into an accident that left two high school students dead and one injured.
Police said the teens were walking along the train tracks over the Route 46 overpass in Wayne Sunday night when they were struck by a NJ TRANSIT train. AJ Mendez, 16, a student at Wayne Valley High School, and Nicholas Sabina, 17, of Fairfield, were killed.
1010 WINS’ Terry Sheridan with students at Wayne Valley High School
Sabina’s father spoke with CBS 2’s Christine Sloan on Monday and said “He was my pal. I mean, I looked up to him.”
“He was such a good kid, always thoughtful. He wasn’t doing anything, just taking an innocent walk. They’d go and walk. I always told him stay off the track. He goes ‘well we stay off tracks except for when we gotta go over the trestles,'” Sabina’s father said.
A 15-year-old from Little Falls was also with them last night, but managed to jump off an embankment when the conductor blew the horn. He was rushed to St. Joseph’s Hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
NJ TRANSIT Spokeswoman Penny Bassett Hackett said the conductor tried everything he could to try and stop the train — even using the emergency brake system.
“Our hearts go out to the families. We plead for people not to trespass on railroad property,” NJ TRANSIT’s statement read.
Sabina’s father said he tried to call his son just minutes before he got the terrible news that his son had died.
“Just spend as much time with your kids as you can, love them unconditionally cause you never know. I never expected this. Never expected this,” he said tearfully.
NJ TRANSIT told CBS 2 the train was headed to a maintenance yard in Kearney at the time of the accident.