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Family mourns teen killed by freight train in Coon Rapids

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The pedestrian killed when hit by a train in Coon Rapids was a 16-year-old boy, his family has confirmed.

The Star Tribune reports Cody Parenteau died when he was struck by a passing freight train on Sunday. He is believed to have been wearing headphones and walking along the tracks when the incident occurred on Northdale Boulevard NW.

His mother, Jen Perna, told the paper the family was celebrating his younger siblings' birthdays when they were told by police at around 6 p.m.

ABC Newspapers reports he was an 11th-grader at the River Trail Learning Center and would have turned 17 next month.

She said he had overcome struggles during his life, including the death of his biological father when he was just 9-years-old

"I loved him more than words can even express," she told the paper via email on Monday.

Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, which operates the tracks, told KSTP "it is extremely dangerous, and illegal, to be on railroad tracks to to cross railroad tracks at any location other than a designated street or pedestrian crossing."

Operation Lifesaver, which promotes highway-rail grade crossing safety, says there were four “trespassing fatalities” involving pedestrians and trains in Minnesota in 2014. There were 10 fatal vehicle-train collisions at highway-rail crossings in Minnesota last year, the according to the organization.

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