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Tuesday, April 19, 2011 - 12:06pm
UPDATE: 11:04 a.m. Updated reports indicate 14-year-old Justin Alcantar, an Ernesto Serna middle school student, was walking home with his back to a westbound train and playing with a basketball. Apparently the teen did not see nor hear the train approaching. He failed to get off the track before he was struck and killed by the Union Pacific train headed west towards El Paso. Alcantar died at the scene. No charges are expected to be filed in the incident. Early indications are the teen's music player and head set were wrapped up in his pocket.
SOCORRO- Tragedy in Socorro tonight. A teenager is hit and killed by a train and now his family mourns, and wonders how it could happen.
Justin Alcantar was a 14 year-old outfielder on his school's baseball team. Police say he was walking home from a friends house, crossing the tracks, as the Union Pacific train came towards him.
Despite the train blaring it's horn, Justin didn't get off the tracks in time.
Jesse Espino was Justin Alcantar's best friend. They were hanging out Monday afternoon. Justin left to go home around 5:00 p.m.
"Ten minutes passed and my aunt called my mom and said that the train had hit a kid and when my mom told me, I just had a feeling it was him," Espino said.
At 5:07 p.m. Justin Alcantar was hit by a westbound train, according to police. Reports say he was dribbling a basketball near the tracks.
As the train came toward him, the conductor told police he blared his horn several times, a desperate effort to get Justin to move. But by the time Justin looked up, it was too late.
"You don't want to believe it at first, but then I saw tears in people's eyes and I had to come running," said Hector Gloria, a friend of Justin's.
Neighbors and friends lined police tape Monday, comforting one another in the first moments after it happened. Many in tears, but a few smiles, remembering a young man who they say always shared a smile.
The small community is left to grieve and wonder how this tragedy happened to one of their own.
"I don't know, that it couldn't be him. That it wasn't possible. How could my best friend be gone?" Jesse Espino said.
Speed was not a factor in Justin's death. Socorro police say the train was going under the speed limit when the crash happened. They say it's just a terrible accident.