Albion student dies after stepping in front of train

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Zachary Winston in a photo posted on October 5 Photo// Zachary Winston on Instagram (@zsmoothie13)

Zachary Winston, 19, stepped in front of an Amtrak train around 8:00 p.m. Saturday night near Erie Street in Albion, Michigan. He died at the scene.

His death was intentional, according to Albion Public Safety chief Scott Kipp.

Zachary was a Detroit native and a sophomore majoring in finance at Albion College and was a guard on the school’s basketball team.

An email from Albion College President Mauri Ditzler went out to the school community on November 10. Part of it read, “as a community, our hearts are broken today as we share the news of the passing of one of our students, Zachary Winston… He was an extremely charismatic young man with an infectious smile. Zach was a recognized leader who was well known across every facet of our campus. He was a fantastic student with a world of potential before him. He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed.”

Condolences have come pouring in for Zachary. The Hope College men’s basketball team from Holland, Michigan tweeted about Zachary on November 10. It read, “our deepest condolences and sympathy go forth to both Winston and Albion basketball families at the tragic passing of Zach Winston.” 

Caden Ebeling, a current player on Albion’s basketball team, posted a picture of Zachary to his Instagram story on November 10 and wrote, “love my brother forever and always.”

Dylan Bennett, a former teammate of Zachary, told the Michigan Journal, “Zach always had an amazing smile on his face and would brighten up any room he walked in to. He was one of the kindest and most caring people I’ve met.”

Zachary leaves behind many friends and family members, including his brothers Khy, who is a freshman at Albion, and Cassius, who is a senior at Michigan State University. Cassius plays on MSU’s basketball team, and on Sunday night, the Spartans held a moment of silence before their game against Binghamton Bearcats. 

During MSU’s warmups before the game, Cassius and Khy were seen huddling together on the sidelines. 

MSU’s basketball coach Tom Izzo said in a statement, “our hearts are filled with sorrow for the Winston family. Their pain over the sudden loss of Zachary is unimaginable.”

Cassius and Khy before MSU’s Sunday game.
Photo// Chris Solari on Twitter (@chrissolari)

Zachary’s last Instagram post from November 7 read, “I know the truth is you won’t love me til I’m gone. And even then the things that comes after is moving on.”

Rest in peace, Zachary.