Teen injured by train serves as warning to others - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Teen injured by train serves as warning to others

Caleb Roedel (source: Facebook) Caleb Roedel (source: Facebook)

(WMC-TV) – Fifteen-year-old Caleb Roedel's leg was severed Saturday in an accident with a train near the Germantown Festival.

Witnesses said the teen was playing the game "chicken" on a dare, but family members said the teen was running alongside the tracks and fell.

Carol Earle visits the festival each year and said she warned children just last year to stay away from the train tracks.

"These children don't understand that these trains are not toys," said Earle. "These trains cannot stop."

"There were several children playing on the tracks and throwing rocks at passing trains and I was telling the boys you need to stop throwing those rocks and one the boys said ‘You're not my Mom,'" she said.

After raising two boys of her own, Earle said she knows kids are attracted to danger but wants to send out a warning.

"Boys will be boys," she said. "I also had a child who did something stupid. He was swinging from a rope and ended up at the Med because the rope broke and he went head first to the ground."

In videos posted to YouTube, jumping train tracks and beating a moving train is viewed as a type of sport.

A representative for Operations Lifesaver of Tennessee, a group that promotes safety at railroad crossings, said playing near trains means you're breaking the law.

"What most people don't realize about railroad tracks is that they're private property and if you're on private property without permission then you're trespassing and you can be ticketed and fined for that" said OLT Coordinator Jilly Moody.

"Train tracks are not your playground so stay off the train tracks" added Earle.

Moody also emphasized that it takes a moving train at least one mile before it can stop on a railroad track.

That's why OLT's slogan is "Stay Off, Stay Away and Stay Alive."

To learn more about railroad safety, click here.

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