JUNCTION CITY, Ore. — Friends and family are mourning the death of a young boy who was hit by a train in Junction City Saturday night. 14-year-old Julius Schmidt was found dead near the tracks along West Front between 4th and 6th Avenue.
The rumble of trains passing through is a regular occurrence in that part of town and residents said, sadly, so are the flashing police car lights near the tracks.
“The trains go too fast here and this is the fourth time that somebody’s lost their life since I’ve lived here due to the trains,” said resident Theresa Ames.
Junction City Police received multiple 9-1-1 calls around 8:30 p.m. Saturday night regarding a train hitting a pedestrian. Officers arrived to find Schmidt’s body lifeless.
“It involved an Amtrak train that was traveling southbound though 6th and 4th Avenue and West Front,” said Sgt. Chuck Salsbury with the Junction City Police.
Police spent 4 hours trying to figure out what happened leading up to the boy’s death. While there are still many questions surrounding the investigation, those who knew Schmidt are just trying to cling on to what they know.
“He had lots of friends. He did everything with anybody…I skateboarded with him. I hung out with him. I mean we went to school together forever,” said friend Dylan Lynn.
“He always skateboarded and talked about Bob Marley…He’s probably up there singing Bob Marley and messing around right now,” said friend Jewlz Vicari.
Although Schmidt is gone, his friends are keeping him alive through remembering who he was and what he loved.
“He’s a well-known kid of this neighborhood. He has lots and lots of friends. It’s gonna be heartbreaking for lots of people,” said Ames.
There’s no word yet on when a memorial will be held, but friends said they were getting together Sunday afternoon to place flowers down by the tracks in his honor.