An 11-year-old boy was struck and killed by an MBTA commuter rail train near the Salem Station on Friday night, Essex County DA Jonathan Blodgett’s office confirmed.
The boy was identified Saturday as Jayon Dancy, a fifth-grader at Carlton Innovation School.
“He was loved and respected, and our memories of him will be of a bright and engaging young man,” Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll said in a statement on Facebook.
The Carlton School is hosting a gathering tonight, June 11, from 6 to 8 p.m. where grief counselors will be on hand to meet with parents and family.
Dancy was struck by a train around 8:05 p.m. Friday in the vicinity of 40 Lawrence St. in Salem, where he was gathered with a group of other boys at a nearby park.
According to witnesses, the boy was crossing the tracks to retrieve his bicycle. An outbound train passed at 8:04 and then an inbound train went by about a minute later.
Investigators believed that the boy was not aware of the second train.
“It appears to be a tragic accident, and no foul play is suspected,” said Carrie Kimball Monahan, spokeswoman for the Essex County District Attorney.
"I'm on the train – next thing you know, we feel a lot of braking and then soon enough we saw a body on the train tracks," the unnamed passenger said.
The child's mother and the train's conductor were reportedly both taken to the hospital to be treated for stress and shock.
Despite his young age, Jaydon was a respected member of the Salem community. Just last year, city officials honored him for his efforts in helping save someone who was drowning, an incident for which he was lauded as a hero.
“This young man was very special, and we are heart sick by his loss. Please keep his family in your prayers,” Mayor Driscoll said.