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Heartbreaking discovery: Mother distraught learning of son's death

By Dwayne Parker, Reporter, DParker@wfmz.com
Published On: Nov 13 2013 09:30:17 PM CST
Updated On: Nov 14 2013 07:59:07 AM CST

Heartbreaking discovery: Mother distraught learning of death

READING, Pa. -

An 18-year-old man on a bicycle was struck by a freight train and killed in Reading Wednesday, police said.

The accident happened just after 4 p.m. near N. Second and Buttonwood streets.

Police say the victim, Jaylan Rodriguez, was trying to cross the train tracks with his bicycle when he was dragged along the tracks and killed.

Rodriguez's mother arrived to the scene shortly after the accident and collapsed to the ground in tears.

"I just want to know what happened, and I want to find out, like I need to find out what happened. That's my son, that's my son," said Laly Collazo, victim's mother.

The Norfolk Southern freight train was coming from Allentown and headed westbound toward Conway, Beaver County.

Investigators with the train company confirm that the train was actually at a standstill, and Rodriguez was struck and killed just as the train started to move.

"They [officers] tried to resuscitate him [the victim] and it was determined that he was dead," said Capt. Madison Winchester.

Loved ones say Rodriguez was a promising artist and had just started working at J.C.'s 5 Star Outlet at the Fairgrounds Square Mall in Muhlenberg Twp.

"He loved to draw," said Rodriguez's mother.

"He's not a bad kid, and we want to know what happened," said Marguerita Alaciar, the victim's aunt.

City council president Francis Acosta, confirmed there are several problematic intersections throughout the city where pedestrians have access to train tracks. He says he will be in contact with Norfolk Southern to see if the issue can be resolved.

Meanwhile, family members say they will be leaning on each other for strength over the next few days as they say goodbye to a loved one whose life ended too soon.