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Nic Thamaire

Accident claims local teen

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Accident claims local teen

 

By Jesse A. Floyd / Staff Writer

Tuesday, December 30, 2003

 

BOXBOROUGH - John Ledoux was a good student, president of his class at the White Mountain School, a musician, artist, brother and son. He volunteered at hospitals and spent time in rural Mississippi, helping build houses.

 

Ledoux was 18 and home in Boxborough for the holiday break when he died Saturday night, hit by a train on a dark stretch of tracks in Brighton. MBTA police are refusing to speculate what the teenager might have been doing - there is no station in the area - but his mother believes she knows what he was doing..

 

"He got a call around three o'clock Saturday from some friends," his mother, Kimberly Kahan, said. "They asked him if he wanted to look at some walls."

 

Looking at walls, for the uninitiated, is the study of graffiti, urban art. Not the crude "Kilroy was here," stuff scribbled by vandals, but large, colored murals done by people who consider themselves serious painters.

 

Enter the word graffiti into the Internet search engine Google and myriad sites come up. From Los Angeles to Holland and most everywhere in between, graffiti has grown into a full-out subculture of hip-hop. Proponents and fans consider the work defiant self-expression and sites offer everything from testimonials to artist interviews to equipment and tips on how to get started. [One example: Don't paint freight trains until you've developed your own style. If you're going to go national, you want to be unique.]

 

Graffiti was Ledoux's fascination for the past two or three years, a fascination he shared with some of his friends, his mother said.

 

"I gave him the basement to practice in, our entire basement is done in graffiti," she said.

 

Instead of going to the Museum of Fine Arts to study Renoir, Ledoux and his friends would head out to look at walls. It was his way of studying the masters, she said.

 

According to MBTA police spokesman Joe Pesaturo, police were first alerted to a problem Saturday night around 7 p.m.: A train, heading into Boston on the Worcester-Framingham line, had hit a pedestrian 400 yards west of the Parson Street Bridge in Brighton. Ledoux was found dead on the tracks a short while later, he said.

 

Because there is no station in the area, the train was traveling at close to 60 miles per hour when Ledoux was hit, according to Pesaturo. Also, he wasn't carrying identification, delaying identification of his body - and notification of his family - for many hours after the accident.

 

Kimberly Kahan started to worry about her son when he didn't check in. Early Sunday morning, she called Boxborough police, seeking advice. She then checked with Olivia Chow, 17, a friend of her son who lives in Acton. Chow had remained in touch with Ledoux after he left Acton-Boxborough to attend the White Mountain School, a prep school in Bethlehem, N.H.

 

"His mom called around 2 a.m.," Chow said. "At first, I wasn't worried because he [John] could take care of himself."

 

According to Chow, she talked with Ledoux just before 6 p.m., when Ledoux was at Alewife station in Cambridge and she was at the Science Museum. She had planned to meet Ledoux somewhere else, but changed her mind.

 

"It was not clear to me what his plans were," Chow said.

 

Her brief phone conversation may have been the last time Ledoux talked with anyone before the accident.

 

In spite of her assertions about his reasons for being on the tracks, Pesaturo said T police are still investigating and will not speculate as to why he was where he was. Police did say he appeared to have been alone at the time and he was dressed appropriately for the weather, wearing a jacket, hat and boots.

 

Kahan and her husband, David, encouraged Ledoux's interest in urban art. He wasn't using drugs, he wasn't drinking and he had found a way to express himself, she said.

 

"The kids, I would say, were of the highest caliber," Kahan said.

 

According to Kahan, when her son left for the White Mountain School two years ago, he was uncertain and unfulfilled. He matured there, learning self-expression and self-esteem. He was ready for a journalism internship this spring [his last at White Mountain], had earned a scholarship from Temple University and was looking at other future academic homes, including McGill University in Canada. He enjoyed the outdoors, snowboarding and rock climbing. He and his family - mother Kimberly, step-father David Kahan, a brother and two sisters - had lived on Meadow Lane in Boxborough for about 10 years. His father, David Ledoux, lives in Worcester.

 

Chow remembers her friend as someone with a slightly acerbic exterior who, when you got to know him, was an easy-going, high-spirited teenager.

 

"People sometimes didn't get him," she said. "We always had a lot of fun together."

 

Chow knows he was into hip-hop culture, graffiti, art and music.

 

"It's sort of the underground thing for rich smart kids," said Kimberly Kahan. "For the most part, the kids doing it are the kids parents want them to be."

 

T police continue to investigate.

 

http://www.townonline.com/acton/news/local...oux12302003.htm

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poor bloke.....even though i will never meet anyone with anything to do with him loosing someone close to you is always harsh and my thoughts go to his family. RIP mate!

:(

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Damn!

 

Its a terrible accident but what was he thinking walking along the tracks when trains were operating. Surely if that was his home town he would have had some clue on when trains do & dont operate. Yes trains only stop operating after midnightin most countries so it would be quite difficult to actaully study the wall but still this is the question between life and death.

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isnt it common knowledge to walk beside the tracks? but still, that is pretty sad...

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It's just terrible to hear stuff like that. I'm glad at least that this article wasn't so down on graff, that's gotta be a first.

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I was the first one to reply to this thread but I felt so bummed and inadequate that I deleted it... I still feel that way but I still fell like I should say it...

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Originally posted by caL

that sucks.

i wonder what he wrote

 

 

yeah, that does suck...i bet his basement stays the way he left it until the house is gone...rip man

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it's a sad reminder that when in the yard or layup to always keep your head on a swivel. shit, always keep your head on a swivel.

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Originally posted by Dr. Dazzle

How the fuck do you get hit by a train??

 

 

i thought this myself, but thought it was inapporpriate,,,,how do you do that, 60 miles per, you know you could hear it, and if it was at night, the light is a dead give away........still sad thoiugh

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you guys are stunted... trains aren't all lights and horns, as uch as you would like to believe... hell I got hit by one and I knew it was there, thought I was safe(ish) 5 feet away... not true...

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Guest BIGMETALCIRCUS
Originally posted by onesecondple

i thought this myself, but thought it was inapporpriate,,,,how do you do that, 60 miles per, you know you could hear it, and if it was at night, the light is a dead give away........still sad thoiugh

 

the line runs right next to an extremely busy highway, and the rail is seamless. 60 mph is very fast.

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