SALEM (CBS) – The community of Salem shares their grief as they react to the death of the 10-year-old killed by a train Friday.
Jayden Dancy was playing with some friends near the railroad tracks and only wanted to retrieve his bicycle from the other side. Witnesses say Dancy saw and heard the northbound train and waited. Then he started across the tracks. He didn’t see the southbound train.
Just last year, Jayden was a hero. When he was nine years old, he tried to save a kayaker on the water near his home. He pulled him to shore and called police. The boy was honored at Carleton Elementary School by police and two state leaders. One of those was State Senator Joan Lovely, who lives nearby.
“We were so proud of him and he was a bit shy and he just said I would’ve done what anybody else would have done, jumped in the ocean and tried to save a life.” Lovely said.
Neighbor Joan Benedetto says Jayden was a brave young man.
“Well Jaydon was really a sweet kid and he saw the man struggling in the water. Somehow he was able to pull the kayak to land,” Benedetto said. “He tried to rescue a man, who unfortunately later died. He was awarded for that.”
Benedetto said the boy really didn’t want that much attention.
His school is responding to the tragedy and said Jayden was loved by so many.
“Our school community suffered an unimaginable loss last evening. Jayden Dancy, an E2 student, was involved in a tragic and fatal accident. Jayden was loved by many including his teachers and his friends,” the school said.
The Salem Public Schools say they feel a tragic loss.
“Our community has suffered a tragic loss with the death of Jayden Dancy, a student at the Carlton Innovation School who was accidentally killed on Friday,” Salem Schools said.
“We invite the community to grieve together on Sunday, June 11 from 6-8 PM at the Carlton School, located at 10 Skerry Street. Grief counselors will be available to support children and families,” the school department said. “Additional grief counselors will also be at schools starting Monday to support our students. Our thoughts and prayers are with Jayden’s family at this time.”
Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll says that nothing is more tragic than the death of a child.
“There is no more profoundly sorrowful event than the accidental death of a child. The boy involved in this tragedy was a student at the Carlton School. He was loved and respected and our memories of him will be of a bright and engaging young man,” Driscoll said.
The transit police also offered their sympathies.
“There are no adequate words to aptly convey the utter tragic event this is,” Transit Police said in a statement.