Archive for Thursday, May 20, 2004

Student killed by train

Glenwood Ridge fourth grader killed by train in Bonner Springs

May 20, 2004

Students and faculty at Glenwood Ridge Elementary School are trying to "maintain normalcy as much as possible," this week while coping with the death of a fourth-grade student.

At 3:05 p.m., Saturday, May 15, a Union Pacific train struck and killed Troy Joseph Chilson, a 10-year-old boy from Basehor and Bonner Springs. The accident occurred near Front Street and Loring Drive in Bonner Springs.

According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, T.J., as he was known, and his brother, Steven Shaul, 16, of Bonner Springs, were pushing a motorcycle westbound on the railroad tracks. While they were crossing a bridge, they heard a train approaching in their direction.

The two boys started running away with the motorcycle but could not outrun the train, which officials said takes nearly half a mile before it can come to a complete stop.

The train struck T.J. and he suffered fatal injuries. Shaul escaped with possible injuries, according to the accident report, but he was not transported to a hospital.

Glenwood Ridge Elementary School principal Linda McFarlane sent a letter home to parents this week informing them of the boy's death. In the letter, McFarlane said the school district's crisis management team suggested Glenwood Ridge faculty maintain the school's normal schedule and activities.

In her letter, McFarlane offered condolences to Chilson's family. The principal would not comment further.

"Our heartfelt sympathy is sent to T.J.'s mother, Diane Phillips, and father, Joe Chilson, and to T.J.'s brothers and sisters. They are in our thoughts and prayers."

T.J.'s sister, Josie, is a kindergartener at Glenwood Ridge.

Funeral services will be 11 a.m. Friday, May 21 at the Bonner Springs Baptist Church, Kansas Highway 32 and Bluegrass Drive, with burial to follow at the Bonner Springs Cemetery.

Visitation will be 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Alden-Harrington Funeral Home in Bonner Springs.

Survivors include his mother, Diane Phillips, and husband John of Bonner Springs, T.J.'s father, Joe Chilson and wife, Michelle, of rural Bonner Springs as well as his sister, Nina Davis, brother Steve Shaul, sister Emily Thomas, sister Josie Chilson, sister JulieAna Phillips, all of Bonner Springs.

Maternal grandparents are Joye and John Davis of Linwood and Mike and Jackie Chilson of California. Paternal great-grandmothers are Treva Hinds and Maxine Chilson, both of Kansas City, Kan.

Memorial contributions can be made to the T.J. Chilson Memorial Fund in care of Commercial State Bank, 309 Oak Street, Bonner Springs.

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