Parents charged in railroad tracks incident

By Shawn Hardy for

A Greencastle couple has been charged with reckless endangerment as the result of a video that shows their children walking on the railroads tracks and scattering just before a train comes through.

Late last week, Greencastle police charged Albert Horst and Brenda Horst, both 36, “for having their children on an active rail line” at 4:45 p.m. Feb. 23, near the High Line Train Station at 21 S. Jefferson St.

The video posted on YouTube by Virtual Railfan went viral across the country and around the world.

“We take this opportunity to caution everybody that rail lines are the sole property of the railroad and that being on the property is a trespass violation,” the police report says. “For the safety of all involved, please stay off.”

The investigation was conducted by the Greencastle Police Department and Norfolk Southern Railroad Police. Information gathered by security cameras at the station led to the identification of the Horsts, according to the police report.

Video cameras are posted along the railroad tracks and the video shows shows five children sitting and walking on the rails near the train station. Another male — teen or young adult — appears to have a camera. A man and a woman can also be seen on the video.

A train approaches and the children can be seen running for safety, the youngest boy being hauled under his armpits by another boy.

The introduction to the video reads, “There is no better example of why you should stay off the tracks.”

“Life is not worth taking a picture, creating a family memory, walking on the rails,” says commentary printed over the video.

“If you think you have time to get off the tracks you don’t,” it reads on the tape, just before a 15-second countdown begins as the train approaches and the children flee.

“This family was lucky,” it says at the end of the video.

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