Just after 5 PM on Monday, September 14, heartbreaking news struck Clarksburg High School. 16 year old junior John DeReggi Jr. was struck and killed by an oncoming northbound Amtrak train on tracks off Barnesville Road in Boyds, Md. DeReggi was with two other teenagers when he wandered onto the tracks and passed away at the scene. The 11th grader’s loss was mourned by the whole Montgomery County Public School family, and he will be sorely missed.
John DeReggi had been a member of the track and field team at Clarksburg and was remembered fondly for his school spirit. Fellow students at Clarksburg decided to wear blue the next day in support of their late friend, and the action spread. The hashtag “WearBlueForJohn” went viral on Twitter, with hundreds of tweets from students extending the message of support. Initially meant only for Clarksburg, the gesture advanced to other upcounty schools such as Damascus and Northwest.
The train that killed DeReggi was travelling from Washington, D.C. to Chicago and had around 170 passengers on board. No injuries were reported among the passengers of the train, and the MARC service was delayed for three hours after the incident.
There was a candlelight service at Difference Makers Church in Damascus, Md. on Tuesday night.
John DeReggi was taken from the world too soon, and everyone at the MoCo Student sends our sincere condolences to his family and to the Clarksburg community. Hopefully the MCPS family can rally around this event and emerge stronger as a result.
RIP John DeReggi.
Article by MoCo Student School News editor Max Cohen of Bethesda-Chevy Chase High School