This is simply a tragedy.
Jeffrey Bellinger, 13, from Cedar Lake, Ind., asked his mom if he could walk home from school Tuesday. She said yes.
He walked along railway tracks, a short cut. He had, police say, earphones on under his hoodie.
As ABC7 reports, a freight train came in his direction. The driver sounded his horn. But Bellinger didn't hear it.
The train struck him and killed him. He was an only child.
His mom told ABC: "I started calling him and wasn't getting any answer. Then I heard there was an incident on the train tracks. Didn't know it was him at the time."
ABC said that Tom Taylor, the superintendent of Bellinger's school district -- Hannover Community School -- had told kids not to walk along the railway tracks.
Taylor said: "In particular at our high school we've always suggested that they have one earbud in and one earbud out."
Too many times, children and adults walk the streets (and sometimes even drive) with both ears full of music, and none listening to what is going on around them.
In Bellinger's case, all that remains are memories, grief and a wish that a boy had at least had one earbud out.