Posted at: 01/31/2013 6:51 PM
Updated at: 01/31/2013 7:01 PM
By: Chris Ramirez, KOB Eyewitness News 4
Family members of the teen killed Thursday by a train in Bernalillo are speaking out.
They say Jose Angel was the life of the party and died too soon. He was hit by a train on his way home from school.
His family describes him as jokester and the kind of guy everyone wanted to be around.
The family is grieving and they are trying to figure out how they will heal from this tragic loss.
An Amtrak train hit Angel while he was crossing the tracks Thursday afternoon. Police said he was wearing headphones when they found him dead - he never heard the train coming.
His family and friends want other students to learn from their loss.
Some of Angel’s friends created a makeshift memorial with stuffed animals, rosaries and crosses near the spot he died.
"We are planning to do more safety like tell kids when they have their earphones on to turn down the music low enough where you could hear people or at least have one ear bud out,” Jose’s cousin Leticia Trujillo said.
School busses drop off students yards away from train tracks leaving students to cross them in order to get home.
It’s a problem Angel's family is speaking out against.
"The bus that dropped off my cousin leaves him right close to the tracks so he has to cross,” Trujillo said. “So I think they need to fix the bus lanes and all that because that is endangering lots of kids’ lives."
But Bernalillo Public School District Superintendent Allan Tapia disputes the claims that students are at risk at the bus stop.
“If students live on the west side of the tracks there is no reason to cross over,” Tapia said. “We have designated bus stops and there is no reason for them to cross over."
He said the bus stops are far enough away from the tracks that the students should have no reason to cross them
For now, the makeshift memorial stands with a hope that other students will think twice before crossing the tracks.