Three young men aged 15, 17, and 27 were hanging out at their usual spot, a railroad overpass in Commerce, California. They heard a train coming, so they moved to the opposite tracks. They didn't hear the other train coming.
So these guys, just regular guys who used to hang out on the railroad overpass and tag things and smoke weed or whatever, moved onto the opposite tracks, "but the roar of the freight train may have masked the sound of an Amtrak passenger train approaching in the opposite direction. And with their backs to the Amtrak train, police said, they probably didn't see it barreling their way."
All three died in the accident. Here's what Yesenia Rosales, the mother of 15 year-old Tony Sandoval, told the LA Times about her deceased son:
She said he had been a troublemaker since he was young and had in recent years been in and out of juvenile hall for vandalism and underage drinking.
"Was he heading in the right direction?" she asked. "No." ...
Rosales said she too had been in trouble with the law and that she struggles with addiction. "It's like, what you see is what you do," she said. "He probably thought, 'Well, my mom did it, so why can't I do it?' "