Albion College Remembers Zachary Winston

Zachary Winston, a sophomore from Detroit, MI, and a player for Albion’s Men’s Basketball team poses with the 2018-2019 MIAA Men’s Basketball Championship sign (Photo courtesy of Zachary Winston).

On Saturday at 8:41p.m., Albion College student Zachary Winston from Detroit, Mich., was struck by Amtrak Wolverine train 355 on the tracks near Erie St. 

Albion College Campus Safety and the Albion Department of Public Safety arrived on the scene of the incident. The Albion Department of Public Safety confirmed that, “a 19 year-old Albion College student intentionally walked in front of a westbound Amtrak train, tragically ending his life.”

Zachary Winston smiles with MIAA Men’s Basketball trophy after his team won the 2018 championship (Photo via Twitter, Zachary Winston).

The train, carrying 65 passengers, stopped on the tracks. There were no reported passenger injuries related to the incident. The train started up again approximately three hours after the incident. 

The student’s identity was later confirmed to be Winston by multiple news outlets, including The Detroit Free Press, Fox News and, on Sunday morning.

Albion College President Mauri Ditzler sent out a campus-wide email asking that the family’s wishes for privacy be respected. Ditzler also detailed Winston’s accomplishments and his positive impact on the college:

Zach was a finance major, a student in the Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management, and member of the Albion College men’s basketball team. Beyond that, he was an extremely charismatic young man with an infectious smile. Zach was a recognized leader who was well known across every facet of our campus. He was a fantastic student with a world of potential before him. He was deeply loved and will be deeply missed.

– Mauri Ditzler

Brothers Cassius Winston, Khy Winston, Zachary Winston and father Reg Winston posing in front of MSU’s logo (Photo via Twitter, Zachary Winston).

In another campus-wide email, Albion College Dean of Students Leroy Wright supplied the campus community with information regarding where students may receive counseling support in lieu of this tragic incident. Counseling support directly related to the incident was offered Sunday night in the Mary Sykes room on the top floor of Baldwin. 

Going forward, Counseling Services is available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for all students. Campus Safety can also be contacted (517) 629-1234. If students need support outside of normal hours, they should ask to be connected to the counselor on-call.

Last night, our family lost a student. And as families do in difficult times, we must come together to mourn and to embrace one another,” said Ditzler in an email. “Please keep the family close in your heart.”

Zachary Winston, his older brother Cassius Winston and younger brother Khy Winston smiling together on court. Photo via Twitter, Zachary Winston)

 If you or anyone you know is struggling, please reach out for help. 

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1(800) 273-8255 (
  • Mental Health Association in Michigan: (248) 647-1711
  • Summit Point – 24 Hour Crisis: 1(800) 632-5449
  • Summit Point Youth Mobile Crisis Team: (269) 441-5945
  • Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 74174


This article, originally posted Nov. 11, has been corrected Nov. 13 as follows:

  • Photo attributions have been changed to “Photo via”
  • A quote from Mauri Ditzler has been corrected


About Gabby Henriksen 30 Articles
Gabby Henriksen is a senior from Royal Oak, MI and is an English-Literature and psychology double major. Gabby has been writing for the Pleiad for three years and is now the news editor, but is still writing articles. When Gabby's not writing, you can find Gabby reading her favorite novels, taking care of her abundance of animals, or taking a nap!

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