ALBION, Mich. — An Amtrak train struck and killed a teenager who was a member of the Albion College men’s basketball team on Saturday evening.
Albion police said the incident was a suicide.
Amtrak originally tweeted that a pedestrian had been hit, stopping Amtrak trains going through Calhoun County
Just before 9:30 Saturday night, @AmtrakAlerts tweeted: “Wolverine Train 353 is stopped west of Jackson (JXN) due to a trespasser incident. Updates to come.” Nearly an hour later they updated the incident, saying another train were running late “due to earlier trespasser strike involving another train in its path east of Battle Creek.”
We’ve learned from Amtrak the incident happened just before 7:30 Saturday night in Albion. None of the 65 customers or crew members on the train were hurt, but the train is still stopped. Amtrak says they are cooperating with the investigation by the Albion Police.
The Albion Department of Public Safety later reported that “at approximately 8:30 p.m. Saturday, a 19-year-old Albion College student intentionally walked in front of a westbound Amtrak train, tragically ending his life. The collision occurred at the pedestrian crossing just west of the Erie Street crossing. The student’s family has been notified, but we are not releasing the name of the student at this time.”
Albion College sports information director Bobby Lee confirmed for FOX 17 that the victim was Zachary Winston, a sophomore member of the school’s men’s basketball team and the brother of Michigan State basketball All-American Cassius Winston.
On Sunday, Albion College president Mauri Ditzler issued the following statement to the Albion College community:
“As a community, our hearts are broken today as we share the news of the passing of one of our students, Zachary Winston. Zach was a finance major, a student in the Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management, and member of the Albion College men’s basketball team. Beyond that, he was an extremely charismatic young man with an infectious smile. Zach was a recognized leader who was well known across every facet of our campus, He was a fantastic student with a world of potential before him. He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed.
As a campus, we have provided opportunities for students, faculty and staff to receive counseling and support in the challenging days ahead. We want all students to know they are not alone.
Our hearts go out to his brothers, Khy, who is a freshman at Albion, and Cassius, who is a senior at Michigan State University, his parents and his extended family. We echo the family’s request in asking everyone to respect their privacy at this time.”