Illinois boy, 9, struck and killed by freight train while riding bike to school

A 9-year-old boy who was riding a bike to school was struck and killed by a freight train Friday in central Illinois, authorities said.

Union Pacific railroad says the boy was struck by one of its trains in the village of Royal, Illinois, at about 7:45 a.m. CDT. It says the train crew was not injured.

The boy was near other people who were not injured, said Lt. Curt Apperson of the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.

Apperson called it a “tragic accident.” The railroad said its thoughts were with the family of the boy.

The child was struck along tracks about two blocks from Prairieview-Ogden North Elementary, The News-Gazette of Champaign reported.

No additional information about the boy was immediately released Friday by authorities.

Prairieview-Ogden Superintendent Jeff Isenhower said grief counselors would be present at all three district schools Friday in Royal, Flatville and Ogden.

The village of Royal is located about 10 miles northeast of Champaign.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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