‘A shining light’ — Friends remember Point Pleasant teen struck by NJ Transit train
POINT PLEASANT BEACH — Friends of the teen struck and killed by an NJ Transit train are remembering him as a "shining light" on a GoFundMe page they created to help pay for his funeral.
The page identifies Raul Cartagena as the Point Pleasant High School student who died Sunday afternoon after being struck by the train at the Forman Avenue crossing in Point Pleasant Beach. An investigation into the circumstances of the crash is ongoing by NJ Transit police.
"We are all between the ages of 14-16 and we wanted to help Raul’s family have the funeral he deserves. Raul was a shining light in our family of friends and he always had a smile on his face and knew how to put one on ours even in our darkest of days," his friends wrote on a GoFundMe page.
The family told News 12 that Raul was about to start his freshman year and was going to try out for the wrestling team.
Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra called this a challenging time for both communities.
"It's been an incredibly challenging time for both our communities. Point Boro and Point Beach are already as close as two communities can be and the outpouring of support has been reflective of that," Kanitra said. "There's already a GoFundMe online that has raised tens of thousands of dollars and a trackside memorial with numerous tributes. We expect a lot more in the near future."
Remembering a friend
A makeshift memorial with a wooden cross, pictures and flowers was created at the crossing, as seen in photos posted by NJ.com.
Friends gathered on the beach in Bay Head for a candlelight vigil Monday night. A memorial was held on the beach in Bay Head with about 100 people.
His funeral is scheduled for Saturday at 9:30 a.m. at the Church of Saint Anthony Claret on Route 88 in Lakewood. A viewing takes place at the Pable Evertz Funeral Home on Beaver Dam Road in Point Pleasant Friday from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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