Police said the victim was walking on Clinton Avenue when he turned at the railroad crossing and started walking alongside the tracks. He died after being clipped by a passing train.
Montenegro's grandmother, Lorita Villa, said she'd warned him about walking near the railroad tracks. "We would always warn him, don't try to beat them like your friends did. You can never beat a train. Never," said Villa. Villa said Montenegro knew trains were dangerous, especially following the death of his friend, Stacy Frierson. The 14 year old Cooper Middle School student died in 2009, after he tried to beat a train in Central Fresno.
In the latest tragedy Tuesday, the train's conductor told police he sounded the horn but Montenegro didn't get out of the way. Damien's grandmother said his mother became worried when he didn't arrive home at his usual time. "When we found out he actually got hit by the train, it was very hard," said Villa.
Neighbors told Action News children often walk alongside the tracks going to and from area schools. "I tell them don't go walking down the railroad tracks. At least go down the sidewalk or whatever. But they do straight down the railroad tracks," said neighbor Jose Hernandez.
Montenegro's family lives only blocks away from the scene of the accident. Tuesday night, his grandmother described him as a good kid who will be missed. "He wasn't ashamed to hug you or kiss you squeeze you. He had a lot of love. A lot of love," said Villa.
Montenegro is the second Fresno Unified student hit and killed by a train in just over a month. 12 year old Daniel Madsen was killed October 5 when he tried to beat a train near Fruit and Ashlan.