Conyers Police Department spokesperson Maj. Scott Freeman said witnesses saw the boy cross the tracks once successfully and then try to cross the tracks again while a train was approaching.
"He had attempted to beat the train across the tracks and was not successful," said Freeman. "We think he was just clipped, but he was thrown a pretty good distance from where he was struck."
Emergency personnel found the boy lying by the side of the tracks still conscious and complaining about having back pain.
"He was very distraught about what happened," said Freeman. The boy's mother was notified and rode in the ambulance to Eggleston Hospital.
"The railroad tracks are not a place to be crossing. It's an extremely dangerous location. Never try to beat a train across the tracks because you will not win, especially if you get struck either on foot or in a car," said Freeman. "The train always has the right of way. They cannot stop like we can in a car. It can take a long time to stop those trains, even when they're in full braking."