Friends and classmates are coping with the tragic death of a Goshen teenager who was killed after being hit by a train.
It happened at Main Street near North 5th just before 10:30 p.m. Thursday. Police say 15-year-old Christofer Pumfrey was killed by an oncoming Amtrak passenger train. Authorities say he and another teenager were trying to cross the tracks. The other teen was able to make it across in time.
Christofer was a student at "The Crossing" in Goshen, an alternative school. The Crossing's website says its mission is "to help struggling individuals become transformed, fulfilled and contributing members of society." Classmates and teachers say Pumfrey was a great student, a good friend and will be deeply missed.
Jillian Lovely spent Friday clinging to a picture of her and her best friend, Christofer Pumfrey.
"It was like the worst news I could possibly get. Because when I first found out the kid had died, I never thought it would be my best friend," Lovely said.
Christofer is described as a quiet kid and a good student, but outside of school he had a big personality and a great sense of humor.
"He is just a goofball, just a big-hearted, lovable, goofball. You don't know whether you want to hit him or hug him at times," said Lovely, "He is such a good friend. I would have jumped in front of that train if I could of."
Now friends, classmates and teachers at his school are trying to cope with the loss and the now empty chair in the classroom.
"For me personally it has been difficult. I have never experienced anything like this before. Losing someone I am close to," said Derek Jacobs, Christofer's teacher.
Christofer's school has extra staff on hand, a pastor, and Lexis, the resident dog. Everyone has spent time talking about the tragedy and remembering Christofer.
Christofer attended Goshen Middle School before starting at The Crossing in September. At Goshen High School, counselors were available all day. A guidance counselor at the school told WSBT students have been in and out of the guidance office all day.
Funeral arrangements haven't been made yet because of the cost. School officials say Christofer's mother is a single mom with at least one other son. She never expected to have to bury Christofer. The Crossing is hoping to raise the $4,000 needed for the funeral and burial.
To donate, contact The Crossing Educational Center at (574) 226-0671 or 2930 South Nappanee Street in Elkhart, IN 46517-1014. Your donation is tax deductible.