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Family, friends gather to remember killed Selma teens

Posted January 29, 2015

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— 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.

4 Comments

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  • btneast Jan 30, 2015

    a photo a judgmental person like yourself deems acceptable.

    Oh I don't know. I took it he was concerned about the image it was perhaps incorrectly portraying of the boys. He perhaps was trying to prevent them from being remembered for the wrong things?

  • Susan West Jan 30, 2015
    user avatar

    Pretzel Logic :

    So what? You've obviously never lost a loved one. A grieving person goes into shock and can barely remember to eat and drink much less find a photo a judgmental person like yourself deems acceptable.

  • gunmonkey Jan 30, 2015

    View quoted thread


    Actually what I got from reading between the lines was that Robert wanted to be an astronaut while Alan wanted to be a train engineer. They had both decided they were going to go to a train yard and then to NASA to figure out which would be the better job. But tragedy happened and they never made it to NASA. That is how I read it.

  • kre2 Jan 30, 2015

    Don't jump to conclusions. According to my daughter, who knew them, they were on there way home, Naughton's foot got caught on the tracks and Peedin was trying to help when they got hit. Kids that knew them state they were not suicidal. Apparently there was witnesses.
    It would be nice if there was some kind of followup article; but, the event will just fad into the background.