A college basketball star died this weekend after stepping in front of an Amtrak train, RadarOnline.com has learned.
Albion College student and basketball player Zachary Winston died on Saturday, November 9, when he ran onto the tracks near Erie Street in Albion, Michigan. He was hit by the Wolverine Train 355 at around 8:25 p.m. and died at the scene, WWMT reported.
The train was delayed for over three hours after the horrific incident.
Albion Public Safety chief Scott Kipp told the Battle Creek Enquirer that Zachary’s actions were intentional, though his motive is still unclear.
“As a community, our hearts are broken today as we share the news of the passing of one of our students, Zachary Winston,” Albion College President Mauri Ditzler said in a statement after the teen’s death. “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 various outlets have reported, Zachary, 19, was a sophomore on the Division III Albion basketball team.
He was also the younger brother of Michigan State Spartans star Cassius Winston.
“As a campus, we have provided opportunities for students, faculty and staff to receive counseling and support in the challenging days ahead. We want all students to know they are not alone,” Ditzler continued. “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.”
Michigan State Men’s Basketball posted a tribute to Zachary on their Facebook page. “Rest In Peace, Zachary Winston,” they wrote along with a photo of the athlete.
Michigan State coach, Tom Izzo, also released a statement on behalf of the MSU Basketball program. “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.”
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.