EAST PALESTINE, Ohio (WYTV) – Police have released the name of the 16-year-old boy killed Tuesday evening after being hit by a train in East Palestine.
Ethan Ferguson, of Wellsville, was pronounced dead at the scene.
Police said Ferguson was walking along the tracks between North Pleasant Drive and James Street around 6 p.m. Tuesday when he was hit by a Norfolk Southern train.
The investigating officer and chief couldn’t give any other details, except to say that at this point, they think it was an accident. However, they will continue to investigate.
Ferguson had been staying with family members in the East Palestine area for several days, according to a police report.
East Palestine High School learned about the accident Tuesday night and contacted the crisis team through the Mahoning County Educational Service Center.
“Which allows us to bring in school counselors from different areas, as well as bringing in our ministers from the local area, just to provide support for students this morning,” said East Palestine Principal Chris Neifer.
Ferguson was transferring from Wellsville and had registered Monday at East Palestine High School. He would’ve picked up his class schedule on Wednesday and started classes on Thursday.
“Anytime you talk about the tragic death of a teenager, it’s always rough. A little bit rougher in this situation because it touches our East Palestine family,” Neifer said.
East Palestine has two train lines running through town – it has for years.
Dean Cope walks through the city every day. He said you have to learn to respect the tracks and be careful around them.
“You have to be aware and be alert. Yes, yes, they’re definitely dangerous.”
Ferguson went to East Palestine during middle school. This would’ve been his second time in the school district.