On Friday in central Illinois, authorities reported the tragic incident where a freight train fatally struck and claimed the life of a 9-year-old boy who was cycling to school.

This is a reminder to hug your little ones even tighter every day.  No parent wants to receive the news that their child didn't make it to school.  Our hearts go out to the family, 9-year-old boy, and everyone nearby the scene.

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Union Pacific railroad reported the incident occurred when one of their trains struck the boy in Royal, Illinois, at approximately 7:45 a.m. CDT.


It's not clear what led to the young boy getting struck by the train.  More details to come as additional information is released.  Fortunately, the train crew remained unharmed.

The event was categorized as a "heartbreaking accident," according to the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.  The Union Pacific expressed its condolences to the boy's family, too.

The school that the young boy attended offered grief counselors at all three district schools in Royal, Flatville, and Ogden for all students or staff.

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As of lately, a lot more students have been biking to school instead of taking the bus or walking with friends.  Please be diligent on the road.

This should be a reminder to anybody operating a motor vehicle to be even more aware, and cautious, of cyclists and pedestrians on the road during the morning school rush.

Stop for school buses with stop arms out, at crosswalks, and stay off your phone.  I can't emphasize that enough, especially during back-to-school hours.

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