The death of a 14-year-old boy who was struck by a train while walking on railroad tracks in the Kirkwood area was tragic. He apparently didn’t hear the approaching train.

The boy was wearing earphones, police said. The train’s engineer said he sounded his horn and couldn’t stop in time to avoid hitting the boy.

All of us have observed people walking, jogging, and riding bicycles who have earphones on, listening to music or whatever. They do not always hear approaching vehicles.

It’s hazardous to wear earphones on streets, highways or railroad tracks while exercising. It’s as hazardous as texting while driving. In the tragic accident in St. Louis County, the boy was taking a shortcut en route to a meeting with friends. Walking on railroad tracks always is hazardous. When you don’t have 100 percent hearing it’s even more hazardous.

Boys especially are attracted to the rails. We know that from boyhood experiences and we were lucky. The difference today compared to then is that we didn’t have earphones.