A Livonia teenager who was placing coins onto train tracks as a train rolled by was killed early Sunday morning when a ladder hanging off one of the train cars caught the boy, throwing him under the train, authorities said.
Brandt Torres, 17, already had been recovering from a nearly fatal hunting accident two years prior. In that accident, he stood up in the path of another duck hunter while on a boat in Pointe Coupee Parish, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Steve Juge said.
“He was critically injured to the point they didn’t know if he would make it, but his recovery was close to a miracle,” Juge said.
But about 1:30 a.m. Sunday, a day short of the second anniversary of the hunting accident, Torres and three other teens were just south of a Union Pacific rail yard in Livonia when he laid on the ground inches from the passing train cars and began placing coins on the tracks as the wheels came by and crushed them, authorities said.
Soon, Torres was thrown under the train. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Union Pacific is investigating the accident as part of its standard policies, but local law enforcement will interview the teenagers because they are minors, said Jeff DeGraff, a Union Pacific spokesman.
“It’s always a tragedy when an officer responds to a scene where a child has been injured or deceased,” Juge said. “It’s always a hard thing for those officers to get over, like any human being would (when) answering those types of calls.”
Pointe Coupee Parish Sheriff Bud Torres III, a cousin of Brandt’s father, said he hopes his family members will find a way forward.
“It was just a tragedy,” Torres said. “He had some challenges along the way and now this happens. It’s just sad.”