Family, friends gather to remember killed Selma teens
Posted January 29, 2015
Smithfield, N.C. — Fond memories flowed through a candlelight vigil at Smithfield-Selma High School Thursday night for two killed students.
“He laughed all the time, always made you feel good,” Rich Naughton, Robert's father, said.
“He was just a beautiful person," his mother, Jenn, added. "They were both good boys."
Robert Naughton, 17, and Alan Peedin, 18, both sophomores at the school, were killed Jan. 22 after they were hit by a northbound Amtrak train in Smithfield.
The accident happened at about 2 p.m. near the intersection of Shelter Way and North Brightleaf Boulevard as the train approached the Selma station.
Peedin tried to pull Naughton off the tracks when they were hit, according to a 911 recording. Both teens were pronounced dead at the scene, Smithfield police said.
No one was injured on the train, The Palmetto, which was traveling between Savannah, Ga., and New York City.
Alan’s father, Mark, said his son and Naughton had been friends since middle school and sometimes walked along the tracks to and from school.
“I'm just thankful for everybody,” he said. “If both of those boys had to die, I'm glad that they went together because that's what they would have wanted.”
Naughton’s grandmother, Suzanne Gible, said she was comforted by the stories of how he lived.
“He just loved and found the good in everybody and made them feel good about themselves,” she said.
Investigators continue to determine why the boys were in the path of the train.