NORTH CENTER — The GoFundMe page for a Lane Tech senior who was hit by a train Sunday has raised more than $20,000 in less than 24 hours.
Sincere Ash, 17, was last seen with friends at about 4:15 p.m. Sunday at Lollapalooza in Grant Park and was later reported missing.
After hours of searching, friends and family heard the news: Ash died when he was hit by a train near the Clybourn Metra Station in the 2000 block of North Ashland Avenue at about 6:15 p.m. Sunday, said Metra spokesperson Meg Reile.
“The circumstances are still under investigation,” Reile said.
When Ash was found near the Clybourn Metra Station, he had no ID or cellphone on him, according to Reile. This delayed his identification by authorities and is why the missing person search continued through Monday afternoon.
“To my knowledge, there are no cameras on that Metra station. The only ones that would have been there are on the end of the locomotive and the cab car, but those are limited in what they can show,” she said. “If he wasn’t standing in front or to the side of the train he would have not been recorded.”
Investigators are in the process of reviewing footage of trains that went through the station Sunday as well as piecing together the roughly two hour window of time between when Ash was last seen alive at Grant Park and his body found fatally hit by a train at the Clybourn Metra Station. The Sun-Times reported that Ash had lost his phone the day before and that he and his friends had used the CTA to get the music festival.
“It’s a least an hour and a half walk if he walked from Lollapalooza to the Metra station where he was found,” Reile said. “So right now the focus is factually establishing a timeline on how he ended up there.”
Earlier in the day, Ash tried to jump the gate at Lollapalooza, but was caught and turned away, according to the Sun-Times.
Ash lived in the 3500 block of North Neenah Avenue, according to the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office.
Calling him a “unique and beautiful friend,” Ash’s friends launched a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for a memorial and funeral Tuesday afternoon. As of 9 a.m. Wednesday, the campaign had raised $21,633 toward its $25,000 goal.
Dozens of people who knew Ash commented on the page, with one word appearing over and over again: kindness. Whether in the classroom or as a camp counselor, those who knew him said his “beautiful smile, his kind heart, his great sense of humor, and his thought provoking questions and opinions” would be sorely missed.
“There will never be an appropriate way to full celebrate him, but with the help of loved ones, community members and people lucky enough to have known Sincere, we hope to cover the costs of his funeral expenses and establish a memorial in his name,” the fundraiser’s description reads.
On Tuesday afternoon Edwina Thompson, Lane Tech’s assistant principal, sent an email notifying the school’s community of Ash’s death.
“Our thoughts are with his family at this difficult time. This loss is sure to raise many emotions for our entire school, especially our students,” she said.
Her email also let parents know a CPS Crisis Team, specially trained psychologists and social workers who help schools get through tragedies, will be on campus Wednesday and Thursday this week as well as during the first week of school.
“Our own counselor and social worker will work closely with this team and continue to be available to students who need ongoing services,” she said. “We are saddened by this loss and will do everything we can to help you and your student.”