A 16-year-old boy from Hassocks was killed last Thursday (July 31) when he was hit by a train in Wivelsfield.
Taylor James ‘TJ’ Sibley, a student at Warden Park School, Cuckfield, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to British Transport Police.
The death is being treated as non-suspicious.
His close friend, Isabel Rix, 16, also a student at Warden Park, said TJ ‘cared more than most people and that was a wonderful thing’.
“He would always be there when you needed him. He would always make sure that I was okay when he knew something had been bothering me. If it had been a different friend who had passed away and not him, he would have done anything to make sure I was okay,” she explained.
TJ had a keen interest in music and football, and was a Liverpool fan.
Isabel continued: “TJ was never afraid to be himself and he’d egg you on in being yourself. He was so supportive of his friends’ dreams, he’d never tell you that you couldn’t do something or that something wasn’t possible.
“No matter how far fetched he would believe that you could do it.
“I wish he’d had that belief in himself. He was capable of great, great things.”
Responding to media reports and comments on social media that TJ had been bullied, his friend writes: “He would talk to me about being bullied and how much he hated getting up in the morning.
“We’d discuss the things that people would say and do. Together we would get all of the rubbish in day to day life off our chests.
“TJ wasn’t just a depressed boy who took his life. He was my friend. I miss him,” she added.
Mr Morris, headteacher at Warden Park, said everyone at the school was ‘deeply saddened by the terrible news of TJ’s death’.
“TJ was an immensely likeable and intelligent young man with principled views and opinions.
“Amongst TJ’s interests were music and football - both passions he spoke eloquently on. TJ was clearly very loved by his peers as evidenced when he was chosen to make a brilliantly received speech at the Leaver’s Assembly.
“TJ’s tragic death will be a devastating blow for his many friends at Warden Park and our thoughts are with his family at this very sad time. Warden Park will remember TJ with great fondness.”
TJ’s Spanish teacher, Mrs Hahn, said: “Such sad news when your life was just beginning.
“Always ready to chat about Liverpool and music you thought someone of my generation would enjoy, this is how I will remember you. You will be missed.”
Flowers and tributes have been laid at the train station, including one signed ‘Love you little Bro, Your Big Sister Cara.’
And numerous tributes to TJ have been posted on social media.
Georgina Daisy Tofield posted on Facebook: “RIP TJ Sibley it was such a shock to hear this.
“I’m so sorry that you felt you had to do this, no one should ever be made to feel like that. It’s dreadful to think that we have lost another precious life from our year. May you rest in peace.
“Always putting others before yourself, when ever you saw me in the corridors you would always smile and say hi.”
Ellie Jackson Tweeted: “Rest in peace TJ Sibley, such a lovely guy.”
Abby Sutherland said: “He was honestly one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.”
British Transport Police were called to Wivelsfield station shortly after 7.30pm on Thursday, July 31.
A spokesperson said: “Our officers attended the scene with colleagues from South East Coast Ambulance Service, but a 16-year-old boy from the Hassocks area was pronounced dead at the scene.
“The boy’s family has been informed, and a file is being prepared for the coroner.”