Police suspect student listening to MP3 player when struck, killed by train
A Thomasville teen hit by a train Tuesday night may have been listening to his MP3 player when the train sounded its horn, according to the Thomasville Police Department.
On Tuesday, police responded to the 400 block of E. Main Street at 7:09 p.m., in front of the Thomasville Furniture Industries showroom, in reference to a pedestrian being struck by a train. Paul Anthony Taylor, 18, of Swanee Lane, a junior at Thomasville High School, died at the scene.
Principal Deboy Beamon said Taylor was a bright and athletic young man.
“I knew him very well. He was a very intelligent student, and he wrestled for our wrestling team,” Beamon said. “He had no issues that I knew about. He is the fourth of his family to come through here. He will be sorely missed.”
The school had grief counseling in place on Wednesday for students who needed it, according to Beamon.
“We just found out about it today, but we have our counselors on standby, should any students need counseling,” Beamon said. “I’ve also talked to the central office in the event that we need additional staffing.”
The Amtrak engineer told police that he saw a pedestrian walking southbound on the tracks. He said he blew his horn multiple times but Taylor did not responded, so he placed the train in emergency stop mode.
The train, which originally was traveling at 79 mph, was still unable to stop and hit Taylor.
Thomasville police are reminding pedestrians to never walk or run on railroad tracks, not cross the tracks when the gates are down and always look both ways before crossing.
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