CHESAPEAKE, Va. (WAVY) — A 15-year-old boy is dead after falling into the Intracoastal Waterway from a train trestle on Sunday night, police say.
Chesapeake Police said the teen’s body was recovered underwater, releasing the information just before 11 p.m.
Chesapeake police officers responded to the 1000 block of Back Road around 7 p.m. Sunday after receiving a call that the boy fell from the Chesapeake and Albemarle Railroad Bridge and into the Intracoastal Waterway.
Police say it’s believed the boy hit his head, and then fell into the water below.
No other details have been released at this time, but the incident is still under investigation.
Neighbors told 10 On Your Side it could’ve been a game that turned deadly.
Multiple people said for years teens have gone to the train trestle to jump off into the water below for fun.
Catherine Mayo told 10 On Your Side as soon as she heard the news she immediately thought of how she and her twin sister would do that same thing.
She said about 23 years ago it was a game, seeing who could jump off from the highest level.
She said back then she never stopped to think of the potential danger.
“There are a lot of wires and cables under there,” she said, “I look back and it’s like how lucky we were that nobody got hurt, that nobody was killed because all underneath there about six to eight feet down are nothing but cables and wires. All it takes is for your foot to get stuck.”
Glenn Edwards has lived in the area for 26 years and said the trail leading to the trestle is practically in his backyard.
About two years ago, the railroad company put up a gate with a no trespassing sign at the start of the trail.
However, Edwards explained it does little to stop kids from walking back there anyways.
“We’re the bad cop here because we live here by the trestle and we’ve always tried to tell the kids not to go back there,” he said.
Edwards said the teen boy wasn’t alone on the tracks that night.
He saw three other boys reunite with their families after the call for help.
“All the families started showing up to get the other three boys. The mom, I saw the mom standing there. She didn’t really know I think at the time and so a police officer kind of held her back, talking to her until they could get the right people from the city to come talk to her and tell her that her child had passed away.”
For years he’s tried calling the police in order to stop kids from going back there, but he said about 10 years ago authorities told him to stop calling.
“For a while there we always called the police, they would go pull them out and give them a trespassing ticket. And then the police eventually told us probably 10 years ago to stop calling them because the railroad wouldn’t show up at court for the trespassing.”
He hopes one thing can come from this tragedy.
“Hope parents see this news broadcast and I hope they talk to their children about the dangers of it.”
If you have any information about this case, you can submit an anonymous tip by calling 1-888-LOCK-U-UP, downloading the P3 tips app to a mobile device, or visiting www.P3tips.com and submitting a tip.
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