New Trier HS student killed while walking on CTA tracks

A 16-year-old New Trier High School student died after falling on the third rail of CTA tracks while walking along them with a friend.

Video Transcript

SARAH SCHULTE: Well Cheryl, Sam was known-- Samantha was known as a good student at New Trier High School. She was also on the school's swim team. She had just wrapped up her sophomore year when this tragic accident took place. Her father tells me that even at an early age, he always told her to never walk on the tracks.

The danger signs are clearly marked. Samantha Cerrone's parents want others to take note and take them seriously. The 16-year-old New Trier High School student was electrocuted and died a short time later following a fall onto the third rail of the CTA tracks.

The accident occurred early Wednesday morning while Samantha and a friend were walking along the tracks close to home.

GREG HARTMAN: And it leaves you speechless. I'm at a loss for words. I don't think that anybody expected to start their day like this.

SARAH SCHULTE: Greg Hartman was Samantha's New Trier aquatics club's swimming coach. He says she was a tough kid who worked hard and never missed the early morning practices.

GREG HARTMAN: She treated every race like the 50 freestyle, regardless if it was two lengths or more. And nothing fazed her like that. She was ready to meet her challenges, and she did it her own way.

SARAH SCHULTE: Mack Smith was one of Samantha's aquatics club teammates.

MACK SMITH: Everyone was just in a better mood when she was there. She just worked so hard and she really cared about this sport and she just kept pushing.

SARAH SCHULTE: Samantha also swam for the New Trier High School swim team. The 16-year-old was an only child. The accident happened just hours after she completed her last sophomore year final.

MACK SMITH: I've been in denial since it's happened and I still question whether or not she's here or not. And I mean, she may be gone from our sights, but she's always in my heart. And it just-- it hurts.

SARAH SCHULTE: There will be a visitation and service for Samantha this Saturday. Her dad tells me that the friend that was with her that early morning, Wednesday morning, tried to save Samantha's life by pulling her off the tracks, but her friend also received a shock and was taken to the hospital. But she is expected to make a full recovery.