‘Continue her spirit’: Abington teen killed by train has scholarship established in her name

HOLBROOK, Mass.--Just weeks away from high school graduation, an 18-year-old girl lost her life after being stuck by a train in Abington last May.

Now her mother devotes her life to help other families not go through the same tragedy.

Boston 25 News reporter Brea Douglas explains the scholarship she has started in her daughter’s honor.

A packed bar in Massachusetts usually means it’s gameday. Instead, people at Lucky’s 777 Bar & Grill are throwing their support behind Katelyn McCarthy.

“We’re here for the celebration of life for Katelyn Elizabeth McCarthy my daughter who was taken from us very unexpectedly on May 13, 2022, just happens to be my birthday as well,” says Lori Frost.

To keep her daughter’s legacy alive, Frost started a scholarship in her name. Lucky’s 777 Bar and Grill hosted a fundraiser with all proceeds going to the Katelyn E. McCarthy scholarship fund.

“I wanted to create something beautiful in her honor that would continue her spirit for years to come. She was a unique, special, outgoing, caring, artistic, musical soul,” says Frost.

Two of the recipients of the scholarship were there to receive the recognition.

“This scholarship is actually helping me to the point I am debt free from cosmetology school, so it is going to be a huge accomplishment for me to finish,” says Brittany Gourdin, the scholarship recipient.

A memorial is set up in Katelyn’s honor one year after her death. She was hit and killed by a train at the crossings on Railroad and Birch Streets. Her mother is pushing for the MBTA to do more to keep people in this area in Abington safe.

“I want a fourth quadrant on Birch Street. I don’t want another child to lose their life. When we hear that train, it brings us all right back it is like starting day one all over again,” says Frost.

And from day one, Frost’s strong support system has helped her to keep fighting for change on behalf of Katelyn.

Regarding the safety at the crossings on Railroad and Birch Streets in Abington, the MBTA released a statement:

“With safety always a top priority, the MBTA, Keolis and Transit Police are committed to actively raising awareness of the dangers of trespassing along active track areas and grade crossings through a long-standing partnership with Operation Lifesaver, a public safety non-profit dedicated to rail safety education.  Sometimes, an approaching train cannot be heard until it is too late.  Even when a Commuter Rail train is not scheduled, freight trains can operate on the Commuter Rail network. Through its partnership with Operation Lifesaver, the MBTA continues to engage the public through educational initiatives about these risks in order to prevent potential tragedies.”

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