KINGSBURY, N.Y. – Two families are mourning after a man and child were struck and killed by a passenger train Sunday night.
Police said 34-year-old Paul Wallach and six-year-old Jordan Catellier were fishing off a small rail trestle around 7 p.m. Sunday evening when they were struck by an Amtrak train traveling to New York City. A family member later found the bodies.
Family members held a vigil Monday to honor and remember Jordan. Patricia Lafferty is Jordan’s grandmother.
“My daughter had came in. I just had woken up, and she told me, ‘Mommy, Jordan’s dead. He got hit by a train last night,’” Lafferty said.
Lafferty was home when her daughter told her Jordan had died.
“I just screamed out, ‘Oh, my God. Jordan, I love you. Your grandma loves you, and I miss you so much little boy,’” she said.
Lafferty said Jordan was a wonderful grandson.
“He was so joyous, so precious,” she said.
Two fishermen were a couple hundred yards from the accident.
“We were here probably until nine o’clock,” Taylor Weaver said.
“It’s sad. It’s hard to believe cause here is the train. You can hear it all the way from here, and they were right there,” Garfield Jones said. “You’d think that you’d hear it coming.”
Weaver and Jones could only recall seeing police activity.
“We did notice,” Weaver said. “Must have been some police down there up on the bridge walking back-and-forth.”
Signs are posted along the tracks warning of the danger. Police said Sunday may have been the first time Wallach and Jordan fished in that spot.
“This may have been a one-time event for them to be there,” Jeff Murphy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
Police said video from the Amtrak train shows the two standing up on the tracks just before being hit.
“I know the man did try to save my grandson, Jordan,” Lafferty said. “I appreciate that, and I give my condolences to his family as well.”
Jordan’s family lit balloons Monday night in his honor.
“I thank God that he was with somebody that tried to save his life,” Lafferty said.
Police said trains can travel 60 miles per hour in the area. Tape was put up Monday to keep people off the tracks.
Police said the train continued to NYC without stopping. They are working with Amtrak to investigate what happened.
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