(Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

We have some unfortunate news to report from Vermont, where a second-year student at Vermont Law School was killed earlier this week after his car was hit by an Amtrak train.

Thomas Fennell, 23, was returning home to his apartment from school and crossing the railroad tracks when he was hit by the train. Although the crossing where Fennell was hit has yield and railroad crossing signs, there are no warning lights or gates present there.

The Concord Monitor has the details on Vermont Law’s response to Fennell’s untimely passing:

Vermont Law School sent a message to students notifying them of Fennell’s death and offering mental health counseling.

“The Vermont Law School community is deeply saddened by the unexpected passing of Thomas Fennell,” VLS Interim President and Dean Beth McCormack said in the statement. “Thomas was a valued member of the VLS community, and our campus and academic programs were greatly enriched by his presence and many contributions, most recently by his leadership in the Environmental Law Society. He was a friend to many.”

Per his LinkedIn profile, Fennell was enrolled in Vermont Law’s joint JD/MERL (Master of Energy Regulation and Law) program on a full scholarship. He was a research associate at the law school’s Institute for Energy and the Environment. He’s remembered as “a nice kid, really sweet, and always had a smile.”

We here at Above the Law would like to extend our condolences to Thomas Fennell’s family, friends, and colleagues during this incredibly difficult time.

Police say driver killed as Amtrak train hits SUV at South Royalton rail crossing [Concord Monitor]

Staci ZaretskyStaci Zaretsky is a senior editor at Above the Law, where she’s worked since 2011. She’d love to hear from you, so please feel free to email her with any tips, questions, comments, or critiques. You can follow her on Twitter or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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