Police identify man fatally struck by SEPTA train while texting

Watch the report from Action News' Walter Perez.
April 8, 2014 3:42:36 PM PDT
Police have identified the 20-year-old man who authorities say was struck and killed by a SEPTA train while texting and walking along the tracks.

Andre Washington Jr. of Jenkintown was hit by an outbound train on SEPTA's West Trenton line on Monday afternoon.

It happened a half mile east of the Old York Road Bridge in the Jenkintown section of Abington Township, near SEPTA's Noble Station at Old York Road and Rodman Avenue.

Authorities say Washington was walking on the tracks to meet a friend at a nearby Wawa. Police say he was texting and was not facing the path of the oncoming train.

Washington's grandparents say they will come to grips with what happened but that is not going to happen anytime soon.

"I gotta be whole, I gotta keep my faith. I gotta believe that God is gonna get me through this and I will be able to move on," said Beverly Washington.

The train engineer saw Washington on the tracks and blew the caution horn repeatedly.

According to police, Washington never turned around or acknowledged that he knew the train was coming.

"He said the victim never once flinched, turned around, looked at him or indicated that he knew the train was coming," said Deputy Chief John Livingwood, Abington Township Police Department.

The train's engineer says he locked the brakes but was unable to stop the train in time.

Washington was struck and pronounced dead at the scene.

Washington's father says it's an image he simply cannot get out of his mind.

"It was killing me just thinking about it. I was lying in the bed all night, staring at the ceiling, just trying to picture him getting hit, said Andre Washington Sr.

The victim's grandmother says she wants everyone to know what the world lost.

"He's very loving, he was very caring. He cared about everybody and he would do anything to help you in anyway," said Beverly.

Authorities are hoping this case will shed light on walking by train tracks and distracted texting.


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