A Naperville North High School sophomore was fatally struck by a train on Tuesday night, marking the third student death for the west suburban school this year.
Lucas A. Gerber, 15, of Lisle was hit on the Metra tracks west of Yackley Avenue about 10 p.m. Sept. 19, according to Lisle police and the DuPage County coroner’s office.
“Although he was only with us at Naperville North for a little over a year, he touched the lives of many,” Naperville North Principal Stephanie Posey said in a message to the school’s 2,800 students.
The school drew national attention earlier this year when 16-year-old Corey Walgren jumped to his death from a parking garage on Jan. 11, after two deans and a Naperville police officer interrogated him about a video he made of himself having sex with a classmate.
That case spurred a $5 million lawsuit against the school district and police department, and raised questions about how school authorities investigate students suspected of sharing sexual images.
“They scared the hell out of the kid, and that’s what drove Corey to kill himself,” said Terry Ekl, an attorney for Walgren’s parents.
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Three months after Walgren’s death, a student died unexpectedly on April 10, school officials said. The freshman boy’s death was also ruled a suicide, according to The North Star, Naperville North’s student newspaper.
Autopsy results for Gerber are pending toxicology tests, according to the DuPage County coroner’s office.
“A death in our school community is always difficult, not just for students, but for school staff and the broader community,” Naperville Community School Unit District 203 officials said in a statement on Wednesday. “When there has been more than one in a year, it’s that much more difficult, which is why we increased the number of support staff (counselors, social workers, and psychologists) at NNHS today, and will continue to provide additional support as long as necessary.”