April 1, 2006 at 10:04 PM CST - Updated July 2 at 6:00 AM
A stunt to jump the tracks turned into a dangerous game for a group of Memphis boys.
9-year-old Marcus Porterfield is in critical condition at LeBoehnneur Hospital after slipping on the tracks as a Canadian National Railways train approached. It ran over him and severed his foot.
Police are calling 13-year-old Deandre Clayton a hero for carrying Marcus to safety. Deandre stumbled upon the severely injured boy.
"It was scary seeing it at first, but I had to do it. Nobody else was gonna do it," Deandre explained.
Deandre says he has even jumped the tracks there himself. There is a small opening in the brush on Olive that leads down a steep incline to the tracks. That's where people have made their own, unofficial crossing.
City Councilman Myron Lowery says it's a tragedy.
"Obviously the city needs to make sure that all railroad crossings are protected, but this was a case of young people acting as young people."
The nearest official train crossing is a mile from the accident. Lowery says more crossings are not feasible.
"No railroad crossing would ever have been placed there and young people need to know that that's not something they should do," he said.
Police say it's a problem.
"We've tried to curtail it as much as we can. You see what the conditions are. It's the bottom of the hill, it's not easily seen," said Inspector Ray Douglas of the Memphis Police Department.
Lowery says parents need to talk to their children about staying off train tracks. After the accident, Deandre says he learned a lesson.