On Friday in central Illinois, a freight train tragically struck and killed a 9-year-old child who was riding a bike to school.
9-year-old Hit By Freight Train
According to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office, the incident occurred around 7:45 a.m. in the village of Royal.
Fortunately, other people in close proximity to the accident were unharmed.
Lt. Curt Apperson described it as a “heartbreaking accident.”
The young child was struck near the railway tracks, approximately two blocks from Prairieview-Ogden North Elementary, as The News-Gazette of Champaign reported.
As of Friday, authorities had not released any additional information about the child, and are in the process of conducting an investigation.
Union Pacific, which operates the train involved in Friday’s deadly accident, released the following statement upon being reached for comment:
We are deeply saddened to report that a 9-year-old boy traveling on a bike was struck and killed by a Union Pacific train in Royal, Illinois, today at about 7:45 a.m. CDT. The train crew was not injured. The incident occurred at the Main Street crossing in Royal. The Champaign County Sheriff’s Department is conducting the investigation. Our thoughts are with the family of the child and our coworkers. Union Pacific employees are always encouraged to call the Employee Assistance Line, which offers 24/7 assistance for support.
To provide support during this difficult time, grief counselors will be available at all three district schools in Royal, Flatville, and Ogden, as announced by Prairieview-Ogden Superintendent Jeff Isenhower.
Royal, situated approximately 10 miles (16.1 kilometers) northeast of Champaign, is the location where the incident took place.
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