BERNALILLO, N.M. (KRQE) - Police have identified theteen hit and killed by an Amtrak train while walking home from school in Bernalillo on Wednesday.
Police say Jose Angel, 16, was wearing his headphones which may have prevented him from hearing the train approaching.
Even as his family mourns the loss of the young boy, they are also encouraging people to learn from what happened—take your headphones out and be aware of your surroundings.
"I just can't believe he is gone, and I hope kids learn from this to keep caution," says Leticia Trujillo.
Trujillo is spending time with family, remembering her 16-year-old cousin.
An Amtrak train hit and killed him as the Bernalillo High School freshman walked home from school Wednesday, crossing the tracks near South Oak Street and Valle Avenue.
Leticia says when she first heard about what happened she tried calling Jose to see if he knew who was hit.
Then she got a phone call.
"After 30 or 40 minutes, my uncle calls me and tells me [Jose] passed away, that was him that got hit by the train."
Leticia says her cousin enjoyed playing the guitar and skateboarding and once told her he wanted to be an architect.
"He was fixing to be something big in life," she says. "Now, it's just sad that he is gone because he was the light of the family. He would always make everybody smile and laugh."
Neighbors say they often see kids crossing the train tracks without using the railroad crossings.
It is something Bernalillo High School principal Keith Cowan hopes to address.
He says he plans to bring someone in to discuss public safety.
"Anything we can do to prevent those kinds of things from happening through awareness is going to be important," Cowan says.
Trujillo is also urging teens to take their headphones out and pay attention to their surroundings as she tries to keep smiling for her cousin.
"He never liked to see anyone without a smile. And I think what Angel wants from us all is to stay strong and smile and learn from this lesson," Leticia says.
Bernalillo High School has grief counselors available for students trying to deal with young Jose's death.
The principal also tells me the school is reaching out to family of Jose and his friends.
The scene of the accident was between two public rail crossings. Witnesses say the engineer sounded the horn three times.
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