Train engineer accused in death of former Osceola teen football star

Tavon Smith faces charges, including manslaughter, in death of Lamar Patterson

The engineer of a train in Maryland is now charged in the death of a teenage football star with ties to Central Florida.

Lamar Patterson was killed nearly a year ago when his vehicle collided with the train.

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The crash happened near Baltimore as Patterson was reportedly on his way to school.

Court documents show Tavon Smith, an MTA rail operator, was charged with manslaughter, criminal negligence and reckless endangerment.

According to the documents, Smith was driving, operating and controlling a vehicle in a grossly negligent manner.

Investigators reviewed video that showed the rail crossing arms were not down at the time of the collision.

Patterson was in Baltimore to attend a private school called St. Frances Academy, known for its football program.

He played for several teams while living in Central Florida, including Osceola County High School.

Shortly after his death, News 6′s Treasure Roberts spoke with Patterson’s former teammate, Ja’Randy Swint.

“We made history together. It [doesn’t] seem real, you know. I would never think something like that would happen to him,” Swint said.

Swint sent News 6 this statement regarding the train driver’s arrest:

“We think of our friend every day, and we constantly pray for his family. We hope that this situation will come to a close in a positive manner because we can’t imagine what his family is going through after losing such a great individual. Long Live Lamar Patterson.”

Patterson reportedly had scholarship offers from Arizona State, West Virginia and Boston College, among other schools.

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About the Author:

Treasure joined News 6 at the start of 2021, coming to the Sunshine State from Michigan.