Child dies after being struck by freight train in Wauwatosa

WAUWATOSA -- Wauwatosa police say a child was struck and killed by a freight train near 68th and State Monday morning.

Officials say the child, an 11-year-old Longfellow Middle School student, stepped onto the train tracks around 7:30 a.m. when a Canadian Pacific freight train headed eastbound at 35 miles an hour, struck the child.

The child was pronounced dead at a hospital just before 8 a.m.

Officials say the train passes over the tracks every morning around 7:20, and Monday morning, the gate and signals were activated, and the gate audio bells were sounding. The train sounded its horn as well, and also applied its emergency brake, though a Canadian Pacific spokesperson says it takes about a mile for the train to come to a stop.

Officials say at this point, no one knows why the 11-year-old stepped onto the tracks. The gate at the intersection of 68th and State blocks traffic on the road, but there is no gate blocking pedestrians on the sidewalk.

The engineer who was driving the train is said to be a grandfather with grandkids about the same age as the victim. He's reportedly devastated by what happened. Officials say they do not believe there was any negligence by the train operator.

Officials say their investigation is ongoing, and the name of the child and family is not being released.

Counselors were on hand Monday at Longfellow Middle School.

Monitor FOX6 News and for updates on this developing story.