KIRKWOOD, MO (KTVI)– A St. Louis-to-Kansas City Amtrak train struck and killed a 14 year old in Kirkwood, Wednesday afternoon, police said.
It appeared Cam Vennard did not hear the train coming, until it was too late.
He was walking the tracks about a 1/4 -1/2 mile east of the Kirkwood station, wearing earphones, listening to music.
The Kirkwood station was full people waiting to get on that train. They were left waiting for about three hours. The train stopped on the tracks, just after the accident. It happened just before 4:30 in the afternoon. It was the 4 o’clock train outbound from St. Louis.
A passenger on board said the train was about 1/3 full; passengers didn’t notice anything, other than the train stopping just as it came around the bend behind the Arrow Box Company.
The train’s crew didn’t see the young man in time to come to a complete stop, police said.
“He was walking, had stereo going, had earplugs, according to what we know so far, by the time he realized it was there, it was too late to get out of the way,” said Kirkwood Police Chief, Jack Plummer.
“He made a small attempt to move, but it was too late…they leaned on the horn, extensively.”
“We didn`t know anything had happened until we stopped,” said passenger, Pearlene Fears, meeting a relative in Kirkwood en route to Houston for her granddaughter’s graduation. “A lady came running through one of the cars that we were on. We looked out the window. It happened, we were on the same car that he was on the ground on. So we could look out and see [emergency workers trying to help the young man],” Fears said.
A number of the Vennard’s classmates were at the Kirkwood station in the wake of the accident.
They admitted it could have been one of them who was hit.
“I`ve been riding my back to the Kirkwood Public Library for the past couple of days. I`m not going to be going on the train tracks and using my Ipod anymore,” said Zackery Czech, a friend of the victim in this year’s graduating class at Nipher Middle School.
They’d just finished classes Thursday.
“You think living in a small town like this is so quaint and now I don`t even want to hear the train. It`s a haunting sound,” said Julie Bielicki, the mother of one of the victim’s classmates. “These kids are going to take this really hard. He`s a friend of theirs.”
“7th and 8th grade we were in the same Com-Arts class. He was always like sharing cool stories. It’s going to be really weird without him. He was a really good friend to me,” Czech said.
Vennard’s friends have created an impromptu memorial on the spot where he was struck and killed.
Emergency workers tried to revive the young man at the scene. They was rushed him to Mercy Hospital where he was pronounced dead.
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