GARFIELD, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A seventh grader was struck and killed by a NJ TRANSIT train Monday afternoon, less than 24 hours after two teenagers were killed by a train in Wayne.
Investigators said Michael Cabaj, 13, went under the crossing gates near the Plauderville Station on a kick scooter. He was heading home from cross country practice at Garfield Middle School.
CBS 2 reports the gate was down as a west bound train passed and Cabaj, thinking he was clear, slipped under the gate and was hit by an east bound train.
Late Sunday night, 16-year-old Alan “AJ” Mendez and 17-year-old Nicholas Sabina were walking on a railroad bridge in Wayne when they were struck and killed by a NJ TRANSIT train.
A third teenager survived after jumping into an embankment.
“The reality is if somebody wants to get onto the tracks or cross the tracks there’s just no way that it’s possible to prevent that, which is why we focus on education and try to get the message out that tracks are dangerous and trains are dangerous,” NJ TRANSIT Executive Director Jim Weinstein told 1010 WINS.
The agency is implementing a safety program to educate students from kindergarten through high school on the dangers of the railroad.
Weinstein said NJ TRANSIT officials will be meeting with Department of Transportation Commissioner, James Simpson, to discuss additional safety measures that can be taken.
“The tragedy of it is there are trains running on the railroad, both scheduled and unscheduled, 24 hours a day and folks need to be aware of that,” Weinstein said.
1010 WINS reports agency officials will tour the scenes of the two incidents later this week.