ROME (AP) – A teenager died while playing a game of chicken with a freight train early Sunday, police said.
Malik Cortez Johnson, 17, of Rome was playing on train tracks with five or six friends who were lying on the tracks and daring each other to jump off at the last minute as a train approached.
Authorities said all the youth got off the tracks except Johnson, who was killed.
“He waited too late it and it kind of sucked him back in,” said police Lt. John Walters.
Police did not believe anyone on the Norfolk Southern train did anything improperly, and Walters said the youth’s parents were both at work and did not know what he was doing. No charges were filed.
Johnson was a student at Rome Middle School.
Walters said there are plenty of videos on the Internet showing teens playing chicken with trains, but he said he was unsure sure why the Rome teens decided to play on the tracks.