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Hope College

October 25, 2011 by staff 

Hope CollegeHope College, A student at Hope College fatally struck by a freight train in the center of Holland on Monday night has been identified as Joshua P. Boerigter, 18, of Portage.

Boerigter was a 2011 graduate of Portage Northern High School and was a third-generation Hope College student. His parents, James and Letitia Boerigter, graduated from Hope College spokesman Tom Renner said in a news release Tuesday.

Police and rescue teams responded to the fall just before 21:00, near the 12th Street railroad crossing.

Holland police Capt. Bob Buursma said the freight train was traveling north and approaching the intersection of 12th Street going about 20 mph when the engineer said he saw someone on the tracks.

Buursma said the person who looked like a short stop, as the engineer of the train, and then beaten around 20:48, the engineer uses an emergency braking system, he said, but could not stop in time.

A witness saw Boerigter walking down the tracks near E. 12th Street and Lincoln Avenue, and saw the accident occurs, Burrsma said.

130-car train carrying coal and headed for the JH Campbell power plant in Port Sheldon Township.

Hundreds of students gathered around the tracks Monday night, some gathered in prayer circles.

A time of prayer and reflection for the campus of Hope is scheduled for 11 am Tuesday in Dimnent Memorial Chapel.

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