Flagstaff Police Confirm Second Teen Suicide by Train in Six Months

In the second such incident in six months, a Flagstaff teenager has committed suicide by laying down in front of a train, police confirm.

Samuel "Spencer" Evans, 17, died after being struck by a BNSF train on November 8, says Sergeant Margaret Bentzen of Flagstaff PD.

His death follows the May 17 suicide of Rafael Mongini, 16, a Northland Preparatory Academy student.

"We have a train running through town that's extremely dangerous," Bentzen says. "It's a huge concern for our department."

New Times checked in with Flagstaff police after a Flagstaff woman called to say her son, a high-school student, had been hearing many rumors about the incident.

Bentzen says "young people in our community are very well aware" of the suicides," adding that -- besides the trauma to the affected families -- the train operators were also impacted emotionally.

In a memorial, Evans family asked that well-wishers make a charitable donation to Redemption Ranch, a Christian-oriented home for challenged teen boys.Mongini's family asked people to support the Nuestros Pequeños Hermanos home for orphans.

Anyone feeling suicidal is urged to call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

Got a tip? Send it to: Ray Stern.

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Ray Stern has worked as a newspaper reporter in Arizona for more than two decades. He's won numerous awards for his reporting, including the Arizona Press Club's Don Bolles Award for Investigative Journalism.