Police: Rome teen killed while 'playing chicken' on tracks


ROME, Ga. - Rome police say a 17-year-old boy was fatally struck by a Norfolk Southern freight train early Sunday.

The incident happened near the intersection of East Callahan Street and North Broad Street in north Rome, described as a business district.

Police said Malik Cortez Johnson was playing “chicken,” laying on the tracks and jumping off at the last minute as the train approached. He was among a group of several teens, police said.

Witnesses told police that onlookers warned the kids to get off the tracks. All of the children got off, except for Johnson, police said.

At this point, police do not believe the train personnel did anything improperly. Rome police and Norfolk Southern are investigating the incident.

Police said Johnson was a student at Rome Middle School.