A haunting photo of Virginia man Jonathan Gregoire on a trestle posted to Instagram was taken just one week before the 21-year-old was killed by a train on the same stretch of tracks.
Alongside the picture, the Liberty University student wrote lyrics from Noah Gunderson’s “Ledges.”
“Here, I stand in the land of the rocks in the valley, trying to be a better man,” the picture's caption reads.
Gregoire and his girlfriend Victoria Bridges were walking along the tracks with a group of friends when a northbound train approached. Gregoire was hit; Bridges, who leapt off the trestle and landed on the terrain 100 feet below, miraculously survived.
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Following the impact, the train conductor told a dispatcher that he had likely hit a man and that a girl had jumped off the track. Paramedics immediately arrived, where they found Bridges lying on the ground and pronounced Gregoire dead at the scene.
Bridges was airlifted to the Lynchburg General Hospital and is currently in stable condition.
Others had been walking beside the tracks when Gregoire and Bridges were hit. They were unharmed. Robin Chapman, a spokesperson for Norfolk Southern, said that people often walk the trestle for the view or use it as a shortcut home.
“It's kind of becoming a problem with, you know, the children and the teenagers that want to come up here and get on the railroad track,” Julie Burgess, a local resident, said. “They're pretty much playing Russian roulette with their life.”
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Since 2011, Gregoire has been the third person, and the second Liberty University student, to die on the trestle after being hit by a train. A number of others have been seriously injured walking along it.
On Sunday, it emerged that Gregoire, a senior studying business administration-marketing, often spoke of his passion for hiking and exploring.
Photo Source: AP, ABC 13