16-year-old remains in ICU after train hit pickup truck

Police identify teen hurt after train hit pickup truck

KINSTON, LENOIR COUNTY - A 16-year-old remains in the intensive care unit Wednesday after his pickup truck was hit by a train in Lenoir County.

The Kinston Department of Public Safety said Wednesday afternoon that 16-year-old Riley Sasser is still in the ICU at Vidant Medical Center, where he has been since Tuesday. Sasser is a 10th-grader at North Lenoir High School and a junior firefighter at the Hugo Volunteer Fire Department in Lenoir County.

A Norfolk Southern train, made up of four locomotives and 53 cars, hit Sasser's pickup truck at about 11:29 a.m. Tuesday near 405 Walston Ave. in Kinston. The scene is on the property of Blizzard Building Supply.

Sasser's truck then went into a ditch. A witness said the teen was unconscious.

Crews had to extract Sasser out of his vehicle. Officials at the scene said the teen was first taken to Lenoir Memorial Hospital before being transported to Vidant Medical Center.

Witnesses said they did hear the train blowing its horn when the accident happened. But bystanders who went to check on Sasser said the music from the teen's pickup truck was loud.

The railroad crossing does not have a stop arm, but does have a whistle post-- a sign that reminds the locomotive engineer to sound a horn or whistle.

The crash remains under investigation, the Kinston Department of Public Safety said.

Witnesses told NewsChannel 12 Sasser turned 16 years old last week, and had just gotten his driver's license.

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