Ocean Springs Student Dies In Car/Train Accident - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/27/05

Ocean Springs Student Dies In Car/Train Accident

Wednesday morning, 18-year-old Justin Kelly of Ocean Springs was headed to pick up a friend for school. He died instantly when his car crossed the tracks in front of a train near the intersection of Highways 57 and 90.

Captain Michael Ducote has seen his share of death in 17 years on the Ocean Police force. This accident seemed to hit him harder than most.

"It's not the first thing I want to see first thing in the morning. It's emotional for the officers, for the witnesses that observe it, for the train engineer. It's really emotional on them."

Robert Hirsch is the Principal at Ocean Springs High School. He had the difficult job of sharing the tragic news with Justin Kelly's classmates.

"The initial reaction was total disbelief, utterly stunned. You never know what the morning's going to bring, but you certainly never expect this," Hirsch said.

"I can't imagine anything more painful or inconceivable than the loss of a child."

Kelly was a junior at Ocean Springs High School. Hirsch describes him as a popular athlete, full of personality.

"Justin cast a wide net. He has friends in many different group here at school, plus he plays sports. And the outpour of grief this morning made it evident. Just a great kid with a lot of heart, lot of enthusiasm looking extremely forward to Greyhound football next year, his senior year."

Just a few hours after the tragedy, some friends and teammates visited the tracks to say a prayer and remember the friend they lost.

Ocean Springs High School will hold a memorial for Justin Kelly. So far the details haven't been decided.

by Jaimee Goad

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