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AURORA - A 15–year–old Mesabi East High School student has been killed in a train accident.
Authorities say Aurora native Cole Anthony Packa was taking a short cut to school when he was hit by a train.
"Morale is low and everything, like there's people sad and somber," Mesabi East High School Student Jared Kopenen said.
It's just a few weeks before graduation and students at Mesabi East High School are mourning the loss of a classmate.
"The schools pretty shocked about it," Mesabi East High School Student Tyler Peterson said.
"Everybody's seems to be devastated,” Mesabi East High School Student Bob Maki said.
"He was a pretty cool kid,” said Peterson. "I know he was well liked by the school."
Authorities say at 7:30 a.m. he was struck by a CN train going around 30 miles per hour.
"When you have a train like that stop it takes a long distance,” St. Louis County Sheriff’s Department Lt. Edward Kippley said. "It just doesn't stop in a matter of a couple of feet."
"It is a surprise and it is a tragedy and we're gonna have to deal with it the best we can," Mesabi East Superintendent Gregg Allen said.
The accident happened in the center of Aurora, near Main Street.
"Somehow he ended up in front of the train,” said Kippley.
Cole was walking to school when the west bound train hit him.
He died at the scene.
"I heard the horn blare and everything,” said Peterson. "I was still kind of sleeping and I know I got up like five minutes later and the train was stopped."
"He got out of the train and started walking back towards the end of the cars or somewhere down that way,” said Raymond Dall of Aurora. "I sat there about five minutes and then I noticed another guy got out of the front and went down and looked in front of the train.”
The train tracks are clear now, but Monday morning traffic was rerouted for three hours as investigators worked the scene.
"They had to go 17 miles I believe to get back to school," said Allen.
The busy intersection has raised safety concerns for the last month.
A makeshift memorial is near the tracks from a different fatal accident that happened just a few weeks ago.
"I think they definitely need to step up their safety there somehow," said Maki.
He was just a teenager taking a short cut to school, but authorities say the rest is a mystery.
"We will reconstruct the accident from the point where it happened to where it ended,” said Kippley. "Try to shed some light on what happened."