Family and friends mourn loss of teen killed by train

By: Laura Geller - bio | email

CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) - Friends and neighbors are stepping up to support the family of 18-year-old Joshua Franklin who was hit and killed by a train near the Defense Supply Center late Friday night.

Josh's mom and sister say they could not get through this ordeal without the help of family and friends.

A Facebook memorial page dedicated to the teen already has almost 1,500 supporters.

Many have written how they cannot believe the teen is gone.

When Chrisandra Franklin learned her 18-year-old son was cutting across train tracks as a short cut home, she gave him some motherly advice.

That lecture now, an eerie premonition.

"I said 'Josh don't ever do that again. That's so dangerous. I said a train could come or anything," she said.

Chrisandra now faces that reality.

She says Josh was on his way home from a friend's house Friday night and was trying to make his curfew.

"I know he was rushing," she said. "Evidently he tried to stay a little extra time and he knew he had to be at home at 10:00 and he took the short cut."

It's a rocky path; Franklin and best friend Casey Trice used to walk together.

The site of a train passing by during our interview brought Trice to tears.

He'll never see it in the same way.

"They're loud but sometimes they're not," he said. "Sometimes you hear them, sometimes you don't. I wish I was here because I know if I was here with him, I'm always looking behind me and I know this would have never happened."

In the two days Josh has been gone, friends and family have come out to the familiar path.

But they say they no longer want to go near the train tracks again.

What exactly happened on those tracks that cost the Meadowbrook senior his life, is still under investigation.

Rashell Franklin says rumors it seemed her brother wanted to get hit don't make sense.

"Why would somebody want to get hit by a train," she said. "They don't know what happened. Don't nobody know the real story but him and God."

Chrisandra's last words to Josh were 'I love you.'

She takes comfort in the lesson she taught her son.

"I always tell my kids when you go out the door in the morning always say you love each other because who's to say you're going to come back in," she said.

A spokesperson with Chesterfield Public Schools says counselors will be at Meadowbrook High to speak with anyone who needs help.

Monday, many students will be wearing white and Josh's favorite color blue in his memory.

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