Local News

Long Recovery Ahead for Teen Hit by Train

Posted November 25, 2007
Updated November 26, 2007

— A teenager hit by a frieight train is expected to spend several weeks in the intensive care unit of a Fayetteville hospital.

Police said Joshua Kosch, 19, was crossing the tracks Friday afternoon near the Hay Street Depot. He was trying to get to the Dickens Holiday Festival. His parents said they believe he was watching a train pass, and didn't see another train coming from the opposite direction.

“Because of the noise of that train, he did not even realize there was a northbound train coming on him,” father Dave Kosch said.

“Josh had been gone for such a long time. We couldn't figure out where he was at. To have a call like that, it's every parent's nightmare,” mother Barbara Kosch said.

Investigators said witnesses tried to get Kosch's attention, but he didn't hear them. When the train hit, Kosch became lodged underneath it.

He was rushed to Cape Fear Valley Medical Center. He broke his arm, back, several ribs, punctured a lung and had his right leg amputated below the knee. Kosch was listed in critical condition Sunday night.

A spokesperson from CSX said the train that hit Kosch was traveling from Hamlet, N.C. to Selkirk, N.Y., near Albany. Since it was pulling 93 freight cars, it could have taken a mile or more for the train to stop.

The conductor did everything he could to avoid hitting Kosch, the CSX spokesperson said.

“I can only imagine the horror he must have seen not being able to stop that train,” Barbara Kosch said.

Kosch's family said they don't blame anyone for the accident. They are looking into how many police officers were directing pedestrians in the area. The Dickens Festival draws thousands of folks to downtown Fayetteville every year.


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  • ncsouthernbelle Nov 26, 2007

    I hope & pray that Joshua is ok - it is a miracle he survived and gets a second chance. I wouldn't recommend the train crew talk to his folks. These folks sound like they are looking for someone - anyone - to sue, not worrying about the healing of their son. People in America need to start taking personal responsibility for their actions and not expecting the government, police or taxpayers to hold their hands. The only way you get hit by a train is if you are on the tracks or right-of-way of the tracks. With the exception of designated crossings, you are trespassing on private property if you are on or near railroad tracks. With freight trains, it can take a mile to stop once you are spotted on the tracks. Your chances are not good. You would not walk onto I-95 without looking both ways. The same principle applies to railroad tracks. Life is too precious to be complacent. Look, listen and live. It only takes a moment.

  • eagle iis Nov 26, 2007

    My thoughts and prayers go out to the 19yr old, his family, and the engineer etc. I can wonder what their emotions will be when they cross railroad tracks. Hopefully something good will come from this accident. The victim when he recovers can explain to schools and classes that railroads are private property and that you are trespassing when walking, riding, or standing along the rails or their right of ways. Also explain the dangers when you try to outrun a train or you simply don't pay attention. Thus he could possibly prevent another individual to suffer what has happened to all parties involved. Occasionally A&E does a documentary about railroad safety on one of the last clips, it showed an individual crossing 2 tracks, a second train approaching, the clip ends immediately. Thankfully this young mans story didn't end immediately.

  • daisy Nov 26, 2007

    I have worked downtown for several years, I have seen people get way too close to the slow moving trains waiting for them to pass. Yes, he made an unfortunate mistake and he will pay the price of his mistake the rest of his life.Wish there was a way to fix the train situation in downtown Fayetteville, the trains stop while waiting for them to switch the tracks and it holds up car and pedestrian traffic. With more people visiting the downtown area, I could see where new people may get confused with the way the trains come through this area.

  • Gandalf The White Nov 26, 2007

    Moral of the story - don't stand on the train tracks watching another train go by. Why? Because you just might get hit by a train coming down the tracks you’re standing on. Tragic - yes; idiotic - yes; totally avoidable - hell yes;

  • AKA PikeMom Nov 26, 2007

    Isn't it getting time,to pull this story?

  • Canon36 Nov 26, 2007

    Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! I do feel sorry for the kid, but for 19 years old he is an idiot. If I had any inclination of a train coming looking both ways i would wait. Late or being on time. I am also sorry for the parents. Come on now it was only your son's fauly. i repeat his fault alone. It was not the job of the cops to take your son's hand accross the track. It was not the railroads fault either. The only person you can blame is your son for not using common sense. If he does not have any at all, maybe he needed your direct supervision crossing the railroad track. The train did not chase him down. He went on the track not paying attention. That is how a lot of car accidents happen. People just not paying attention. I say again this was stupid and should not of ever happened.

  • computer trainer Nov 26, 2007

    I just went and read the article out of the FayObserver. This is how it ends:

    Barbara Kosch also would like to know whether someone has found Joshua’s top hat, which was lost during the accident. He bought it last summer for $150 with money he earned and was proud of it. She hopes it will be returned. (I have to say, that as a parent, that is the LAST thing I would be thinking of!)

    He was a junior in High School.

    If you have type O or type AB blood, they depleted their supply at Cape Fear Med to save his life, so I you could donate there, I am sure that they would appreciate it.

    She also said: She said she would like to talk to the conductor of the train that hit Joshua. He blew the horn to try to warn Joshua to get away. “We want to speak with him and give him our heartfelt sympathies, and we know how tough this must be that it must have been just horrible to not be able to stop. And I know it wasn’t his fault,” she said.

    To be honest, it would be better if they no

  • Tired Of Excuses Nov 26, 2007

    It's too bad that the kid didn't hear the other train coming, but to blame others??? Oh my Gosh!
    Maybe we should blame the parents for not teaching their son how to cross more than one set of railroad tracks at a time. Furthermore, why where they not there to hold his 19 year old hand to ensure his safety or to have his hearing and sight tested?
    It was an ACCIDENT, plain and simple.
    Yes Mom and Dad, your son, your pride and joy screwed up and now is having to pay for it....I hate to have to be the one to break it to ya, but it's no one's fault but his own, sorry Mom and Dad.

  • Run_Forrest_Run Nov 26, 2007

    Sure hope he recovers quickly. Not blaming anyone but the kid. He was responsible for his actions, however, I wonder how many people receive training in the 2 or more track situation. I worked in downtown Rocky Mount years ago (tracks go right through center of downtown area) was shopping on my break at one of the stores across the tracks. One train was just about finished going through and I stupidly assumed it was the only train on the tracks. I ran across. I was lucky - and d@mned stupid. Now I know better not to assume there isn't a 2nd train - also know that people can not judge how far away a train is. It's better to wait. And - for those who drive around the gates......again...stupid! The RR shouldn't have to pay a dime.

    Again - hope this guy recovers.

  • SO LOW Nov 26, 2007

    What a horrible accident. Looks like his parents are already looking for someone to blame. They are trying to see where the police officers were directing traffic. Sometimes, we have to own up to our own responsibilities and stop looking for someone else to blame or to sue.

    Wishing a sppedy recovery to this kid!