19-year-old student dies after hit by train in Central Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

Police say the 19-year-old left the scene with a large gash on his leg, and he was talking to paramedics as he was being taken to Community Regional Medical Center. Police say the man saw the train but he tried to beat it because he was running late to a class at Fresno City College.

When the railroad crossing guards drop people know to wait for the train to go by, but instead police say a teenager decided to make a run for it. The man's mother had just dropped him off for a class at Fresno City College. He would have been on campus after taking just a few steps past the tracks.

"His mother strongly urged him to wait for the train to pass," Alex Flores, Fresno Police Department said. "He made a bad choice obviously he should not only heeded the warnings by his mother but the warnings we hear and see all the time at these intersections."

Witnesses told officers they saw a teen crossing the tracks carrying a skateboard. They also said he may have made it safely across but he appeared to have tripped over the rail.

"The guard on the front of the train didn't hit him directly but it did get the back portion of his body his torso knocking him to the ground," Flores said.

It's not the first time someone was hit by a train headed to Fresno City College. In 2005 construction finished on an underpass at Fresno City College. The walkway South of Weldon goes safely below the tracks. It is a route many students prefer to use

"I definitely prefer this, there's nice rails, I can't get hit by a train, I'm gonna make it safely to my classes on time," Danielle Eller said.

Statement from Fresno City College

Fresno City College is mourning the loss of 19-year-old student Keenan Paul who died today after being struck by a train at McKinley and Blackstone avenues near the Central Fresno campus.

FCC President Tony Cantu is released the following statement:

"Keenan Paul was about to begin his second semester today at Fresno City College and we are saddened that his life and future were cut short by this tragic accident. We send our heartfelt condolences to his family and friends."

Staff counselors will be on hand to assist any students or staff who request support.

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