Train kills Estacada teen in Troutdale
An Estacada High School student was hit and killed by a train Saturday evening, Nov. 2, in Troutdale.
A comment on a Facebook post identified the boy as River Baker.
The Estacada School District issued a statement on Monday, Nov. 4, saying, "On Saturday, a young member of the Estacada community passed away. The Estacada School District's thoughts will continue to be with this family, and we offer our deepest condolences.
"Our entire district is grieved by this sudden loss," the statement continued. "Estacada School District staff are supporting students at school by providing spaces and opportunities to talk, grieve, and meet with counseling staff. Impacted families are encouraged to reach out if their students may need additional support at this time. Providing support for our students and staff remains a top priority as our community experiences this loss."
Multnomah County Sheriff's deputies were called out to the site of the incident at Union Pacific Railroad tracks immediately north of the Historic Columbia River Highway in Troutdale around 6 p.m. Saturday. The 17-year-old boy was declared dead at the scene.
The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office told the Pamplin Media Group the investigation is ongoing. The MCSO Crash Team is conducting the investigation.
KOIN 6 News, a Pamplin Media news partner, reported that Baker was killed while taking senior photos. On social media, the victim's relatives noted "there is no official report. We don't know what happened."
Union Pacific issued a statement, saying, "Our thoughts are with the teen's family and friends. We plead with parents, students and photographers to not take photos on or near the tracks."
Union Pacific officials said none of the crew members were hurt in the incident.
Operation Lifesaver, a nonprofit rail safety organization, said it is illegal to trespass or photograph on rail lines.
Trains can't stop quickly, and the average train overhangs the track by at least 3 feet. Plus, looking through a camera lens creates an optical illusion, making it hard to determine a train's distance or its speed, the group said.
"This is a tragedy for the family, community and train crew. I think an important message to get out to the community is that the only thing that belongs on those tracks are trains," said Steve Kreins, Operation Lifesaver executive vice president.
The Outlook will update this story as more information becomes available.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.