SAN LORENZO, Calif. - A 16-year-old East Bay boy is dead and a school is in mourning following what appears to be a tragic accident on the railroad tracks near his school.
"He will be incredibly missed and we are incredibly heart-broken," said Kelly Lara, the principal of Kipp Collegiate Academy in San Lorenzo.
Lara spoke to reporters just minutes after breaking the news to students that one of their classmates was killed.
"He had a big heart and he was able to earn the support and loyalty of everyone around him," said Lara.
The 16-year-old junior was riding his bike along the tracks on his was to school at about 8:00 a.m. Wednesday morning. That's the same time that a mile-long Union Pacific train came through heading southbound near Grant Avenue.
"We understand that he did not hear the train coming up from behind him and by the time he did hear it was too late," said Sergeant Ray Kelly with the Alameda County Sheriff's office.
The young victim's name has not been released. Officials will only say he was an honor student with a 4.0 grade point average, who was taking all advanced placement courses.
Police are now sending out a warning about the dangers of riding on the tracks.
"Please stay off the railroad tracks. There is nothing good that comes from traversing or taking a shortcut through the railroad tracks," said Sergeant Kelly.
Police are investigating whether the victim was wearing ear buds or anything that could have affected his hearing.