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September 22, 2016

Student struck, killed by Amtrak train in Leverett

A University of Massachusetts sophomore was struck and killed by a Washington, D.C. bound Amtrak train Thursday afternoon.

Executive Director of News and Media Relations Ed Blaguszewski was able to confirm that the student was 19-year-old Peter Boutarel, a political science and philosophy major from Dax, France.

The incident occurred at 1:22 p.m., according to Amtrak spokesperson Cliff Cole.

Boutarel lived on campus, though Blaguszewski would not say where. Dean of Students Jo-Anne T. Vanin will be releasing a statement shortly to the campus community, Blaguszewski said, adding that UMass will provide counseling and support services to Boutarel’s friends and acquaintances.

“Any time an incident like this happens, it’s very sorrowful and tragic. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends,” he said.

State Police officials in Northampton said the investigation was being handled by detectives from the Northwestern District Attorney’s Office, which covers cases in Hampshire and Franklin counties.

Voicemails for the District Attorney’s spokesperson were not returned. The Leverett Police said only that State Police detectives were investigating.

Spokesperson Cole said that the train was en route from St. Albans, Vermont to Washington, and that the train was delayed four hours for an investigation after the incident.

“This underscores the dangers of venturing onto the tracks, our overall message is that these incidents are avoidable if people are safe and stay off the tracks,” he said.

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