Two Alabama teens face life-threatening injuries when struck by train while group was walking along tracks

Published 5:38 am Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Two Alabama teenagers are facing life-threatening injuries after being struck by a train in Helena’s Riverwoods neighborhood on Monday afternoon, June 26, while two others narrowly escaped with minor injuries.

Around 2:44 p.m., a 9-1-1 call was received about several juveniles who had been struck, police and fire responded to the scene.

Upon arrival to the scene, law enforcement found two patients who had been struck by the train who were seriously injured.

Two of the patients were transported to Children’s Hospital in Birmingham, and two other juveniles were able to jump away from the train.

Both of the juveniles who were struck and taken to Children’s received life-threatening injuries and are being treated for those injuries.

“My officers, as well as Helena fire medics, engaged in some very thick woods and steep terrain to get up and access them and start treating them,” Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn said.

The victims were two males and two females approximately 15-16 years of age.

Helena Police Chief Brad Flynn said the juveniles said they were walking from Black Ridge subdivision in Hoover down the tracks toward Old Town Helena area down by the creek.

“They said they do this all the time,” Flynn said. “Obviously nothing happened until now. They said they were halfway across the trestle when they first heard the train and they tried to outrun it and they couldn’t outrun it.”

Flynn said he has seen these situations end tragically before and urges everyone to avoid using railroad tracks for exploration.

“This is my 26th year here and this is the fourth train versus, I think, juvenile incident that I’ve worked. Every child that has been struck before did not survive. I ask parents to implore on their children, especially now that it’s summertime, these tracks are not a place to go hiking, they’re not a place to go explore. As these children terribly found out, and by the grace of God, hopefully they will survive, but they learned too late that railroad tracks are extremely dangerous places to be.”

Flynn also said that a Helena officer was injured after falling 30 feet down an embankment while trying to provide quick emergency support to the teens.