The Fordham Community Mourns Second Fordham Prep Death


The Fordham community learned of a Prep student's death this Monday. Jack Brennan/The Fordham Ram

By Mike Byrne, Erin Shanahan and Laura Sanicola 

The Fordham community learned of a Prep student's death this Monday. Jack Brennan/The Fordham Ram
The Fordham community learned of a Prep student’s death this Monday. Jack Brennan/The Fordham Ram

A student at Fordham Prepatory School was fatally struck by a Metro-North train in the Bronx on Monday afternoon.

The 16 year-old male is the second student at the Jesuit-run high school on the Rose Hill campus to be killed by a train in under a month. His name had not been released by either the school or the New York City Police Department as The Ram went to press.

Rev. Christopher J. Devron, SJ, President of Fordham Preparatory School, issued a statement on Tuesday afternoon about the incident. “The sudden and tragic death of a member of our sophomore class last evening has deeply shocked and saddened the entire Fordham Prep community,” the statement read. “We are in close contact with the young man’s family and have assured them that our prayers, sympathy and support are with them in their time of need.”

The student was struck by a northbound train around 3:30 p.m, according to MTA spokeswoman Meredith Daniels. The train was passing through the Botanical Garden station and was not making a stop. Law enforcement officials said that the boy appeared to have jumped in front of the train.

On Monday afternoon, the Fordham community was informed of Metro-North delays due to police activity by the Botanical Garden station, apparently related to the incident.
John Carroll, the associate vice president of Fordham’s Department of Public Safety, said that at the time he sent the email he was unaware that the victim was a student at Fordham Prep.

“Our role was to let the community know this was a major disruption in both New Haven and Harlem Metro-North, which our students, faculty and staff use,” Carroll said, “and then to assist the Prep, which is what we did.”

Carroll said that he assigned one of his employees to go to the Botanical Garden station and work with Metro-North and the NYPD. It was at that time the police identified the victim as a Fordham Prep student.

“I contacted the president of Fordham Prep, Father Chris Devron, and Father Devron and I went there for about an hour and a half last night to be there while Father blessed the body,” Carroll said. “Father met with his family and notified them and we were there for this tragedy.”

This is the second Fordham Prep student to be killed by a train in less than a month. At Philipse Manor station in Sleepy Hollow in Westchester County on Jan. 18, Fordham Prep Sophomore Owen Kelly was struck and killed by a Metro-North train after police say he deliberately stepped in front of it.

According to his obituary, Kelly was an honor student and member of the junior varsity hockey team, as well as a community volunteer and worked during the summer at the Tarry Crest Swimming and Tennis Club and the Philipse Manor Beach Club.

Devron made it clear that support staff was available to help the Fordham Prep community through the tragedies.

“In order to support and care for our community during this difficult time, Fordham Prep will be providing trained experts and grief counselors to meet with students, faculty, staff, and parents,” he said.”We will also host a parent meeting at which specialists and members of the Prep’s Crisis Team will address their concerns and questions.”

In addition, according to the MTA, additional police officers were stationed at the platforms near Fordham Prep today as a result of the tragedy.

Dean of Students Christopher Rodgers provided the following information about student resources in response to the recent deaths of the Fordham Preparatory students:

In any emergency, please call Public Safety at 718.817.2222 immediately.​ At Rose Hill, counseling is available through Counseling and Psychological Services in the basement of O’Hare Hall: (718) 817-3725, or by calling Campus Ministry at (718) 817-4500.
Students may also contact Christopher Rodgers, dean of students at Rose Hill, at (718) 817-4755/​, or their resident assistant or resident director for assistance. Members of the University community can also call ​Public Safety​ at any time at (718) 817-2222 with questions about counseling services or requests for assistance.