By Carlos Correa

MANTECA (CBS13) — Many people around Manteca are mourning the loss of a Sierra High School student who was tragically killed Monday by a commuter train.

Sierra High School is where the 15-year-old spent most of his time, studying and playing football, and sadly Austin Peterson died not too far from here.

Students at Sierra High School are mourning the sudden death of their classmate.

“It’s pretty sad, everyone liked him. He was really nice and he always smiled so that’s how he got the nickname smiley,” said friend and teammate, Jacob Martin.

According to deputies with the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office, Peterson was struck and killed by a train Monday evening. It was a commuter train run by ACE.

“He was a really good kid and he actually made a lot of friends here at school. Everybody was really sad for him most of the classes I went to people were crying for him today,” said friend, Marcos de Leon.

School officials are calling the incident a tragic loss and are sadden by the news.

“He was a great dude but it sucks,” said friend Julian Rubio.

Neighbors who live nearby say they see kids playing near the tracks all the time, and that’s what Peterson and his friends may have been doing when he died.

“I feel really sad about it because my brother goes to the school too. I don’t feel good about it,” said Rammeek Kaur, who’s brother attends Sierra High School.

In addition to staff, Sierra High School does have counselors, nurses and psychologists available for any students wishing to talk about this loss.

Representatives for Ace say the crew aboard the commuter train saw Peterson and a friend on the tracks and used the emergency horn and brakes but it was too late.


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