DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) -- The community is mourning the death of a teenage boy who was hit by a train Friday. Police say the 13-year-old was riding his bike across the railroad tracks on Griffin street near Garfield Park in Danville.
"We were carrying in groceries out of my van, and there was a train. I already took some bags in, and he came running in and said mom, 'somebody got hit by a train.' "
When she heard that, Tina Syfert ran outside and up to the railroad tracks next to her house.
"And then the next thing I know, it was just like everything all happened at one time. We had cops, and we had fire trucks and ambulances and everything."
That's when she learned a teenager on a bike -- not someone in a car -- was hit by the train.
"I've got nephews the same age, and it really hit hard on my heart."
She says the boy was trying to beat the train. Like Syfert, other people in the community think the accident could have been avoided.
"They should have those crossing rails that go down. But there's nothing there."
Right now the crossing has flashing lights and bells to warn people trains are coming. But there's nothing to stop them from going through.
"They need to upgrade and do something about that. Because kids need to play. They're still kids."
"Every kid tries to beat a train once in a while, but I still think if there'd been gates there, it wouldn't have happened."
Syfert says she isn't sure who the boy was.
"They ride their bikes up and down the alley."
The police haven't identified him, either. But that hasn't stopped the community from paying their respects.
"I feel sorry for the parents and the family of the little boy."
There are several railroad crossings in Danville with no gates, but many people said they want to see them added to avoid future accidents.