College Basketball Star, 19, Dies After Stepping in Front of Amtrak Train: Police
Albion College student and basketball player Zachary Winston died on Saturday night after he stepped in front of an Amtrak train, multiple outlets report.
Amtrak’s Wolverine Train 355 struck Winston on the tracks near Erie Street in Albion, WWMT reported.
Albion Public Safety chief Scott Kipp told the Battle Creek Enquirer that Winston intentionally stepped in front of the train, according to the Detroit Free Press. Winston stepped in front of the train as it approached a pedestrian crosswalk just past the Erie Street crossing, Kipp told ESPN.
The train was delayed over three hours at the scene until the investigation was completed.
The Albion Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
Winston, a sophomore on the Division III Albion basketball team along, was the younger brother of Michigan State basketball All-American Cassius Winston.
Albion College President Mauri Ditzler released a written statement about Winston’s death, according to Detroit Free Press and WWMT.
“As a community, our hearts are broken today as we share the news of the passing of one of our students, Zachary Winston,” the statement read. “Zach was a finance major, a student in the Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management, and member of the Albion College men’s basketball team. Beyond that, he was an extremely charismatic young man with an infectious smile. Zach was a recognized leader who was well known across every facet of our campus, He was a fantastic student with a world of potential before him. He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed.”
“As a campus, we have provided opportunities for students, faculty and staff to receive counseling and support in the challenging days ahead,” the statement continued. “We want all students to know they are not alone.
“Our hearts go out to his brothers, Khy, who is a freshman at Albion, and Cassius, who is a senior at Michigan State University, his parents and his extended family. We echo the family’s request in asking everyone to respect their privacy at this time.”
Rest easy, Brother Z. That smile always lit the room/gym up. We will take care of your family. Appreciate all that you did! #ZachWinston
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, whose team is set to play its home opener Sunday night, also released a statement on behalf of the MSU Basketball program, according to WWMT.
“Our hearts are filled with sorrow for the Winston family,” Izzo said. “Their pain over the sudden loss of Zachary is unimaginable. It’s impossible to find the right words in this moment, other than to say that we will support the family in whatever way they need.”
It is unknown if Cassius will play with Michigan State, currently ranked No. 1 in college basketball, on Sunday night.
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), text “home” to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.