Ewing HS senior hit, killed by freight train was ‘funny, smart’
A Ewing High School student was identified as the person stuck by a freight train on the CSX rails near the Delaware River on Friday night.
"The Ewing School Community is shocked and saddened by the tragic death of Ewing High School senior Alex Martinez," according to a statement on the school district's website. "His loss resonates throughout the district and our deepest sympathies and condolences are extended to his family and friends."
Martinez was struck on the tracks off Route 29 by a 25-car train that was heading south from Kearny to Philadelphia around 6 p.m. Officials have not said why he was on the tracks.
Russo told New Jersey 101.5 that Martinez was using the tracks as a shortcut to get from Ewing to her home across the Delaware River. "From his house in Ewing taking the train tracks is only 15 minutes to walk.If he would go around to the Calhoun Street Bridge it would take about 2 hours," Russo said.
"He was really funny, smart and about to graduate," Russo said of Martinez, whom she had just began dating exclusively after meeting several months ago through common friends in Hamilton.
Russo said he was supposed to test for his driver's license on Monday and wanted to become a chef.
"Everybody loved him he made everyone's day and had a effect on all his friends and family," Russo said.
Russo said Martinez was also good to her newborn daughter, Aaviannah, and treated her as if she were his own child. Russo said Aaviannah's father is in jail and does not know Alex.
According to Russo, Martinez leaves behind a brother named Curtis Graham, mother Jocelyn, a grandmother and several cousins.
Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman offered her condolences on Martinez's death and posted a picture of her with the 18-year-old on her campaign Facebook page. "He was a volunteer on my campaign, and I am truly saddened by his loss. May he rest in peace," wrote the Democrat.
Alex was a lifelong Ewing resident , having attended the Lore Elementary School and Fisher Middle School according to the district.
Counselors will be available at Ewing High School starting at 7 a.m. on Monday morning for students, staff and the community. Anyone needing assistance can call Ewing's Office of Special Services at 609-538-9800 x7177.
Notre Dame High School senior Jacob "Coby" St. Phard took his own life in March when he stood in front of an NJ Transit maintenance train between the Hamilton and Trenton stations.
Individuals seeking immediate crisis assistance should call the NJ Department of Health Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)