I didn't know this guy but I know a lot of you guys on here might have known him from surfing in Monmouth County. Anyway, this is the fourth junior or senior from Manasquan to do this. Just wondering if anyone knows what is going on around here. I grew up in Sea Girt and now live near Spring Lake Heights. I surf SL/ Belmar and Sea Girt and am sure I surfed with this guy before. Just wondering how bad things get to want to do this to yourself.
Manasquan High School junior Nick Wright said he was in his third class Friday morning when a crying friend "literally pulled me out of my classroom to give me a hug."
The friend also told Wright of the latest tragedy to strike their small school: Senior Matthew Caughey had been struck and killed by a train early that morning.
The 17-year-old from Spring Lake Heights was hit at around 7:20 a.m. in Sea Girt, south of the Beacon Boulevard crossing, said Penny Bassett Hackett, a spokeswoman for NJ Transit. The North Jersey Coast Line train left Bay Head around 7:09 a.m. and was headed north, she said.
Manasquan HS Senior Killed By Train
Caughey was the third Manasquan High student to be killed by a train since 2008, and the fourth student at the school who has died since last year.
Wright and Charlie Borges, another junior at the school, said it seems wrong that the two 16-year-old high school kids should even have to have conversations about the death of yet another classmate.
"High school is supposed to be the best time of your life," Borges said. "We went through so much in our freshman year," with the death of other schoolmates.
Counseling was set up at the school Friday, and officials worked with Monmouth County's traumatic loss unit and the Society for Prevention of Teen Suicide to establish counseling centers for Friday evening, said Schools Superintendent Geraldine Margin.
"Even if you didn't know him it still hurts because your friends are hurting," Wright said.
Margin said Caughey was a very good student who had been a member of the school's golf team since his freshman year.
"He was well liked and looking forward to going to college as far as we know," she said. "It's a complete shock."
She said she believes he was on his way to school, and as far as district officials know, his death was an accident.
"We don't know anything about this other than it was a tragic accident as far as we're aware right now," she said. "That's all we know."
There are about 1,030 students at the high school, which serves students from Avon, Brielle, Belmar, Spring Lake, Spring Lake Heights and Sea Girt.
One student at the school died of natural causes in the winter of 2008; in June 2008, Andrew Clark Jr., 18, of Spring Lake Heights was killed by a train in Spring Lake; and in April of that year, another student, Timothy Schenke, 18, of Spring Lake Heights, a senior, was struck and killed by a train in Spring Lake.
In August 2008, a civil complaint was filed by the estate of Clark against St. Rose High School in Belmar and its former baseball coach, Bartholomew McInerney. The legal paperwork alleges the teen was "sexually abused, harassed and endangered" by McInerney.
Clark, a former baseball player at the Catholic high school, went to authorities with complaints about McInerney. He later transferred to Manasquan High School. McInerney has pleaded not guilty and is scheduled to go on trial next year.
Since last year, Manasquan school district officials have been working with the county's traumatic loss coalition and the teen suicide prevention group, Margin said. She said the district received a federal grant for Project Serve, which allowed that prevention group to train the entire staff on helping students deal with traumatic loss.
This year, on graduation night, a counseling center was open until 4 a.m. because Clark died on graduation night the previous year, she said.
"I can't say enough about our staff and the compassion they've shown our students and their families," she said. "It's been very difficult for everyone. . . . Everybody knows everybody in this little community."
She said that after students' deaths, officials were very concerned about the reaction of the rest of the students at the school.
They worked to identify those who were the closest to those who died, and have been working to support those students emotionally, she said.
For example, many of them participated in a local Habitat for Humanity project this summer.
"On behalf of the Board of Education, we offer our sincere condolences to Matthew's family and all members of our school community," Margin said in a statement on the district's Web site.
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Manasquan High School senior killed by train in Sea Girt
Oct 26, 2009, 04:28 PM #2
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
- Brick Township, New Jersey, United States
Wow. No disrespect intended, but I never understood accidental train deaths. Either the kid was walking on the train tracks with headphones or something, or maybe got stuck, I can't imagine 3 train deaths in such quick succession. What is going on in that town? Weird.
Oct 26, 2009, 06:04 PM #3
- Join Date
- Jun 2008
- Central, NJ
I wish the best for friends and family...
But seriously, how do you get hit by a train? I just don't understand...
that's the thing. The article says accidental but there was nothing accidental about it IMO. The student they said died of natural causes was also killed by a train. They couldn't say suicide because there was no note and some families aren't alright with everything going down in history like that.
My prayers go out to the young men of Manasquan. It may sound corny but I challenge them to go against the "norm" and quit using drugs and alcohol. Quitting these things changed/saved my life.
Oct 26, 2009, 06:38 PM #5
Damn... this is going on on the east coast too? That sucks.
This has been going on big time in Southern California for some time now.
High School Rocked By Another Student Train-Suicide
Posted: 7:31 am PDT October 20, 2009
Updated: 10:46 pm PDT October 20, 2009
PALO ALTO, Calif. -- On the eve of a community teen suicide forum, students, parents and school officials were reeling Tuesday morning after a fourth Palo Alto high school student apparently stepped in front of a Caltrain commuter train in less than a year.
wallysurfr, while I agree with you that drugs and alcohol are not good for kids I dont think that is the issue. I had tons of friends growing up that partied in HS and we never had anybody off themselves. I think the issue is much much deeper than just "drugs and alcohol" that cause a trend like this.
There is something much deeper and darker going on here than just kids getting loaded. I say this because all the kids that have been stepping infront of these trains were sober.
They just believed they didn't have a good enough reason to live.
Wow. This has become a nation wide trend.
I thought it was just the kids out here doing this...
Wow. Was not aware of anywhere else in the country that this kind of thing has been happening.
agreed. I got loaded as well and you're right, the drugs and alcohol are not the sole cause but def. have something to do with it. Young brains are not developed enough to handle the things that these kids are putting into their bodies. Doing so can lead to depression, anxiety and this amongst other things. I have learned about each of these kids and drugs (pot/pills)/alcohol seem to be the common denominator.
I agree that it is a combo of things but I think the reaction to the first death was wrong (I know that this is what happens when you lose someone you love this way). There was a pouring out of emotion for the guy from everyone in the school and everyone viewed him as almost legendary. Other saw this and probly thought "If i'm gonna go out that's how I want to be remembered." Maybe I'm wrong but this is just what I see.
Whether it's drugs and alcohol, pills, a bad home life, girlfriend issues or money problems, etc. there's no reason for this. This kid was like a typical young surfer guy with a million friends and a girlfriend living in a wealthy town and having what seemed to be the time of his life. You have to wonder how something so dark can happen to someone. And in my opinion it's a lack of God in the schools and in these young peoples lives. Not trying to start a spiritual argument but that is my take. These kids are taught evolution in school like its a fact. Most are under the impression that when we die it is just the end and we cease to exist so why not, you have to die sometime right? They don't take into consideration that if evolution is wrong and if there is a God they are in big trouble.
Again, not trying to start a spiritual argument the things said above are my opinion but I am interested in hearing others takes on this.
Oct 26, 2009, 07:53 PM #7
I agree with you about the glorifying of their deaths being the wrong thing to do. It does make that person who is losing all hope feel that it's okay to do this. That if things are looking bleak they can just end it and they will be a martyr in retrospect to their friends and family. Which is wrong and selfish. They need to understand the hurt and pain that this will cause their loved ones.
Oh, and not all people who don't believe in god or gods wanna off themselves, either. Not to hijack such a serious topic, but I'm an atheist as is my family and not one member has offed themselves yet. You know they just discovered our forebears underwent a previously unknown stage of evolution more than a million years before Lucy (I’m sure you are familiar with Lucy, right), the iconic early human ancestor specimen that walked the Earth 3.2 million years ago. C’mon Wally, please don’t tell me that you take your kids to the Kansas Museum of Science now, do ya?
However, we can agree that something needs to be done to save these kids. Move love, more attention, maybe spending time with them doing their homework, knowing who their friends are & where they are at. I personally think that it all started sliding downhill when it became necessary for both parents to work full time in order to support having a family. When we lost having a parent home we lost a lot.
Last edited by mofosurfer.com; Oct 26, 2009 at 10:57 PM.
Oct 26, 2009, 09:03 PM #8Wow. Was not aware of anywhere else in the country that this kind of thing has been happening.
I also agree with what you guys said about drugs and alcohol which is a huge problem at my school. Almost like 40% of my grade has totaled their cars this year because they were stoned or drunk, its become almost a right of passage. One girl totaled her land rover and went to the hospital, but instead of everyone getting annoyed or changing their behavior they thought she was cool. (which pissed me off) And (in true pmac tradtion) her parents bought her a new mercades when she got out of the hospital. (the last part never fails to tic me off)
was this a suicide?
Oct 26, 2009, 10:16 PM #10Banned
- Join Date
- May 2009
- Mission Beach/Spring Lake
I heard about this also, very sad! it seems like a trend in monmouth county.
thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.