Chief Of Police Talked To Azleway Runaways Killed By Train - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/25/06-Hawkins

Chief Of Police Talked To Azleway Runaways Killed By Train

Autopsy results were expected today for the two teens killed by a train in Hawkins Thursday.  Officials say it will be at least Wednesday until that happens.   Officials are now saying they think the boys were alive before the train hit them.   And we've learned new information about the pair, who ran away from Azleway Boys' Ranch in Chapel Hill more than a week ago.  

Thursday morning, Chris Hill, 17, of Dallas and Harry Rutledge, 15, of Bastrop were run over by a train on Highway 80 and Highway 14.  Hawkins chief of police Ron Voda knew one of the young men and talked to both teens, two days before their deaths. "At the time, they were out there throwing a football around," said Voda.

It was Tuesday, somewhere between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., when Voda spotted Hill Rutledge at a football practice at Hawkins High. "We talked to Chris and he said he was in town just visiting some friends and family and that he would be here for a day or two and he was going back to Dallas," said Voda.

Voda says he knew Hill because Hill had been on the football team when he attended the school last year. C.P.S. placed Hill in Azleway Boys' Ranch in Chapel Hill but Voda says he did not know where Hill moved to. "Their behavior was not something out of the ordinary, where I felt like I needed to check them. I'd seen the boy before and knew that he probably did have friends and relatives," said Voda.

Voda said he told the boys they were not supposed to be on campus, and they agreed to leave. Earlier in the day, around 12:30 p.m., high school principal Charles Leffall spotted the pair inside the school's gym. "My question was to them, 'What are you doing here?'  He named a couple of kids that they were visiting. So, I asked him, 'You're not still in school?" And he said, 'no I'm not in school.'"

After Leffall asked Hill a few more questions, Leffall says he told the teens they were not supposed to be on campus during school hours and asked them to leave. He said that was the last he heard of them. "Somewhere our system failed these kids. I don't know at what point, where, how, but it's a shame.  It really is," said Leffall.

Chief Voda says Azleway Boys' Ranch filed a missing person's report over the weekend. He says in order for them to access the information, they have to go to the sheriff's department in Quitman or call them and have them fax the information over.

Oralia Ortega, Reporting.  ortega@kltv.com

 

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