SLIDELL, La. (WGNO) – Slidell police have identified a teen killed in a train accident Wednesday morning.
The St. Tammany Parish Coroner’s Office identified the teen as 16-year-old James Pulsifer.
Authorities say Pulsifer was struck by a southbound Norfolk Southern freight train between the North Boulevard and Lafayette Street crossings in Slidell around 7 a.m.
Police believe Pulsifer was walking to school.
The conductor told Slidell police that Pulsifer was walking along the center of the railroad tracks with headphones over his ears. The conductor said he tried to stop the train and did everything possible to notify the teen, but it was apparent he did not hear the train’s horn.
Slidell Police Chief Randy Smith says, “This is a tragic accident which resulted in the loss of a young life. It’s never easy to lose a loved one, but when it’s someone so young, it makes it that much harder. Our prayers are extended to the family and friends of the victim.”
The below message was also included in the release.
Unfortunately, this is a common occurrence across the United States where pedestrians, who are listening to music with headphones, do not hear or see an on-coming train.
Although it is illegal and considered trespassing to walk along railroad tracks, pedestrians quite frequently utilize railroad tracks to walk from place to place with the belief that it is safer than walking along a roadway.
Slidell police encourage all pedestrians to only cross railroad tracks at designated crossings and to NEVER walk or take photographs along railroad tracks.