Community remembers teen who died in train accident

Local News

MATTOON, Ill. (WCIA) — A town is remembering a teenager after his sudden death. John Nisbet, III, was a Mattoon High School student who died Friday morning. That’s when the car he was in was hit by an Amtrak train near Humboldt.

Now, his classmates and friends are remembering his passion for faith and music. They say Nisbet was a quiet, shy teenager, who was very respectful and professional. They say he was known for his love for music and church.

“We were just stricken yesterday.”

Terry Leffler has known Nisbet and his family for nearly a decade; they’re members of his church.

“Their faith is so strong. They know where Johnny is.”

Leffler watched Nisbet grow up over that time and says, in middle school, he started going to youth group conferences.

“One day, one of those just really clicked with him and he gave his life to God. Something just lit up in him and he began doing testimony and giving his word to a lot of his friends and teenagers.”

Friends, like Madeline Horath, was in a band with him. Nisbet was their bass guitarist.

“I always used to joke about how he was like the Paul McCartney of the group, because I love the Beatles, and he was more of a Pink Floyd and Metallica kind of fan. I always thought he was really funny, and he always made me smile.”

A sense of humor they’ll treasure now that he’s gone.

“He was very respectful, very professional, and, like I said, if it was something he was very interested in he would light up.” 

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