Merced Police say a boy in the seventh grade was hit and killed by a train on Thursday afternoon.
They are piecing together the moments that led up to the deadly collision.
A person working nearby named Jason Guerrero reported the collision after one of the victim's friends came running for help.
"A kid was sprinting... hopped our fence, and said can you call 911, my friend just got hit by a train. They were coming from Hoover, I believe they just got out of school and they always walk the tracks," says a shaken Guerrero. "I thought it was him playing with me at first, then I saw how scared he was in his face."
Police say it happened at around 3.30 p.m. near G and 23rd streets along the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad tracks on Thursday.
Sara Sandrik with the Merced City School District says they're preparing for the possibility of the victim being one of their students.
They plan to have counselors available, and also says they preach train safety throughout the school year.
"We do talk to our students about train safety living in Merced. We do have trains that run through our community. That's our message at the beginning of the year," Sandrik said.
Police say folks often walk across the tracks as a shortcut, despite the nearby tunnels and walkways.
It's a tragic situation,and Guerrero says his heart just goes out to the family.
"I have a one-year-old daughter so I thought about my daughter."