Children constantly cross over those tracks walking to and from school. That's exactly what Daniel Madsen was doing the day he was killed. One man was so touched by his death -- he decided to give up his time and volunteer as a crossing guard in the area. Now, he's being treated like a celebrity.
Arthur Blakeney of Fresno helps children and their families cross safely over the railroad tracks at Fruit and Ashlan in Central Fresno. The unemployed father of six isn't getting paid for his services ... he's just doing it because he feels he has to. "I'm just trying to put a message out here for somebody to look at this street, at this train track, because this train track is going to take a lot more lives."
Earlier this month, 12-year-old Daniel Madsen was hit and killed by an oncoming train here. In March of 2009, 13-year-old Stacy Frierson was also killed by a train in the exact same location. In both incidents, police say the young victims thought they could "beat the train."
Madsen's friends who often visit the site say they appreciate Blakeney's willingness to help. Taiwan braden said, "It's really thoughtful for him to come out here and that's why I thank him every day."
Kids aren't the only ones taking notice of Blakeney's good deed. Drivers often stop to drop off water ... or simply wave when they pass by. One person donated Blakeney this vest. Another installed a handle on his stop sign. This parent says he feels safer knowing Blakeney is keeping a close eye on kids and the tracks.
Robert Coryell said, "They see the train down there, they underestimate it, and they try to run across. Accidents happen, and that's what he's here for ... to stop them."
While Blakeney says he enjoys the work ... he says the responsibility should fall somewhere else. In the meantime, he vows to spend his free time on the tracks. "I think the district should put someone out here. Until they do, I'll be out here."
Shortly after Madsen's death this month, the school district did remind students and parents about train safety. As for Blakeney ... we spoke with Fresno Police. They told us Blakeney has the right to stand guard near the tracks.