A teen died playing chicken when he failed to leap out of the path of an oncoming train in time.
Austin Price, a 15-year-old student at San Lorenzo High School, was struck and killed by a northbound Capitol Corridor train when he and two other boys were on the tracks at 6 pm on Thursday. While the other teens jumped off the train track in time, the Price could not and the teen died playing chicken, police said.
After the accident families of the two other teens — a 15-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl — came to the train tracks. Authorities worked to find Price’s family shortly after the accident to notify them.
The train was heading to Sacramento from San Jose, police said.
The train tracks are a popular walking area, and said to be particularly appealing to students at San Lorenzo High School. There are warning signs and a fence meant to keep people off the tracks, but principal Tovi Scruggs said many students ignore the warnings.
“It’s an ongoing concern,” the principal said. “Tragedies don’t happen frequently, but we know the tracks are not staying empty.”
Playing chicken is a popular game there, said Austin’s longtime friend Olympia Pereira.
“They played all the time,” she said. “It was just a game.”
Another friend, 16-year-old Tania Montes, said people won’t be by the tracks anymore after the teen died playing chicken.
Austin Price was remembered this week as a kind boy who liked to make people laugh. On Friday the school of 1,500 students was in mourning, with a large sign on campus reading, “Austin, we’ll miss you.”
“He was a good person — one of those good people you come across every day,” Olympia said. “He genuinely cared.”
Principal Scruggs spoke with Austin’s family on Friday, and had a simple message to deliver to students after their teen classmate died playing chicken.
“Life is precious,” she said.