Train Crash Kills Longtime Friends

The latest tragedy on the railroad tracks claimed the lives of two longtime friends.

23 year old Tremayne Jackson and 22 year old Nolan Duckworth were killed Sunday afternoon when the car Jackson was driving was hit by a CSX train at 32nd Avenue.

Their deaths mark the 10th and 11th railroad fatalities on the coast this year.

It's easy to report on the straight forward statistics. There have been a rash of these car-train accidents so far this year. But the more powerful safety message might come from the grieving families who've lost loved ones.

Alfredia Patton reflected over the short life of her son, Tremayne.

"My son, Tremayne, basically was a good young man. Just a joyful young man. Had a good life ahead of him. His future just was headed in the right direction, that's what I can say," said the grieving mother.

She grieves for a future that no longer exists for her 23 year old son. She fondly remembers the youngster who graduated Head Start, then later attended Harrison Central Elementary. Though he faced his share of problems growing up, he always loved and respected his family.

"I got a hug everyday. Everyday. He'd be so dirty sometimes, he'd come in from the city and bend down and give me a kiss. He's say, I'm a dirty man. And I'd say, OK."

Tremayne Jackson's mother has heard the report from witnesses that her son tried to beat the train across the intersection. But since there are no flashing lights or gates at that crossing, she's left to wonder whether such safety devices might have prevented this tragedy.

"With these youngsters, they live in a faster generation. I think they need some type of ban to be there for them. Also, I think the trains need to slow down going through the cities. Everybody needs to slow down and pay attention," said Tremayne's mother.

It's good advice that could save lives, but comes a little too late for two good friends.

"Two friends. They played together, fought together, loved together. And they left together."