Boy, 14, May Have Ignored Train Warnings

Christopher Davis struck, killed by Amtrak train Sunday

A 14-year-old Chicago boy may have ignored warning gates when he was struck and killed by a train Sunday night in south suburban Lansing.

Christopher Davis was reportedly with his brother and cousins, heading home from a fast food restaurant when the gates surrounding a rail crossing at 182nd and Locust streets came down. The group tried to make it across, but Davis apparently didn't make it and was struck by the train.

"That's when they took of running," explained the boy's aunt, Connie Davis. "And so Chris, he was just the one that was left behind. You know, he just didn't feel like running at the time that they started running. When he did decide to run, I guess he didn't run fast enough."

The eighth grader died on the scene.

Investigators said the gates were down and warnings were functioning at the time of the accident.  Those gates cover the roadway, but not the pedestrian walkway to the south.

A sign located about a block away from the crossing warns about the dangers of going around downed gates. Still, neighbors in the area said it happens.

A day after Davis died, while a neighbor places a stuffed animal at the crossing in his rememberance, youths could be seen walking along the tracks.

Davis' family remembers him as a young man who was looking forward to going to high school and playing football.

His aunt said she hopes the death can be a lesson for others.

"Don't be trying to cross them tracks unless you know ain't no train coming," Connie Davis said.

Because of a change in routing, that Lansing crossing may soon see fewer freight trains each day, but the Amtrak train that struck Davis will not be affected by that change.

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