Five teens inside a Jeep were playing a game, based on ghost legends, when they parked on railroad tracks just after midnight Monday.
“They were playing a stupid game called ‘Ghost Train,’ and the object is to get scared, kind of like telling stories on Halloween,” said Butler County Coroner Jim Akers.”The game was to park on the tracks, let the windows fog up inside and let your mind play tricks on you.”
But the game took a deadly turn when a real Amtrak train approached and the driver couldn’t restart her vehicle, Akers said. Three of the teens got out safely, but two girls in a panic couldn’t unbuckle their seatbelts in time. The Jeep’s owner returned to the car and helped unbuckle her friends, just as the train smashed into the stalled vehicle, Akers said.
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It’s greatly disturbing to report these tragedies. There have been many occasions when thrill seeking teens have made some unfortunate choices. These 3 teens, two dead and one seriously injured, made a poor choice. Teens make poor choices every day. It’s not about ghosts or legends, perhaps. But about proving you can be brave and accept a challenge. It’s a trial many go through on the way to adulthood.
Akers said he’s been coroner since 2008 and had never heard of the game until Tuesday. He said the girls’ parents were aware of it but didn’t condone it. He said the girls had done it before without a problem. The girls had mentioned to others that they were heading out Monday night to the tracks on Wilcox Road, Akers added.
“They were obsessed with it,” he said. “The girls were apparently infatuated with sitting on the tracks and scaring yourself. The girls had gone out many times to do it.”
Can you ever make these tragedies stop? Is there one thing to blame? No for both cases.