What happened to this all-American boy?

1.Andrew Clark Jr. on the soccer field 2.Mueller 3.Mark Mueller unknown NJ 973-392-5973 mmueller@starledger.com Moved to Selects: 08/06/08 11:46:49, msegall
Andrew Clark

Alone in the dark, Andrew Clark Jr. walked along the rocky apron of the railroad tracks in Spring Lake. He was in a bad way, he told a friend on the phone. He didn’t say why. He didn’t have to. It always came back to Bart. 

Bart McInerney had been Andrew’s baseball coach at St. Rose High School in Belmar. A respected man from a large and well-liked family, he’d been a friend and neighbor of the Clarks in Spring Lake Heights. He’d eaten at their table, talked sports with Andrew’s father. According to prosecutors, he’d also been a sexual predator.

Charges filed against McInerney in November allege he repeatedly engaged in explicit conversations with players, hectoring them to provide details of private acts in text messages, offering them condoms and cash incentives. 

Andrew was one of his alleged victims, and his parents and friends say the emotional toll was profound, making him prone to occasional bouts of despair. For a half-hour or an hour, he’d find a quiet place and disappear into his thoughts, wrestling with the revulsion and the hatred and the confusion.

On June 20, just after midnight, one of those dark moods brought Andrew to the Wall Road railroad crossing in nearby Spring Lake, the place where another local teen, Tim Schenke, had taken his own life in April after recurring bouts of depression. Andrew followed the tracks 200 to 250 yards north. There, two days after his 18th birthday, he was sideswiped by an NJ Transit train and killed.

The Monmouth County medical examiner has yet to issue a ruling on Andrew’s death. Because he was alongside the tracks and not on them, because he had called a friend for help and promised to wait, his family and friends say with unswerving conviction that he had pulled back from the brink, that his death was an accident.

But they believe with equal conviction that what drove Andrew to the tracks that night, what made him even consider suicide, was Bart McInerney.

“Bart took something from Andrew that he couldn’t get back,” said Jackie Clark, Andrew’s mother. “He began to hate, and he couldn’t deal with the hatred and the betrayal. It ate him up inside.”

There were other pressures.

In the echo chamber of high school, in a small town of few secrets, everyone seemed to know Andrew had spoken to prosecutors about McInerney, 42, a coaching icon in Spring Lake Heights and neighboring towns. Some people called Andrew a liar. Others teased him, asking in a cutting singsong, “Where’s Bart?”

“It didn’t happen often, but when it did, he didn’t forget about it,” said Bryan Nadrowski, 17, one of Andrew’s closest friends. “It bothered him.”

Andrew was among the first players to come forward. Three weeks after the teen’s death, on July 8, Monmouth County Prosecutor Luis Valentin announced charges relating to nine more alleged victims dating to 2001. He appealed for others with information about the coach to step forward.

McInerney is now charged with 11 counts of endangering the welfare of a child and faces up to 10 years in prison for each count if convicted. He also would be required to register as a sex offender under Megan’s Law.

Bart McInerney in court. (John O’Boyle/The Star-Ledger)

Free on $200,000 bail, he has largely remained inside his Cape Cod-style home, avoiding the local shops and restaurants, according to neighbors and others in the community.

“I would love to comment, but I can’t,” McInerney said, answering the door on a recent afternoon in shorts and a Pittsburgh Steelers T-shirt. “I don’t want to shoot myself in the foot.”

His lawyer, Charles Uliano, said his client is innocent.

“Bart McInerney is a good man and would never do anything to harm or endanger another person,” Uliano said. “He’s not guilty of these allegations.”

First Assistant Prosecutor Peter Warshaw said the investigation continues and that evidence will soon be presented to a grand jury. He declined further comment.

In Spring Lake Heights, a close-knit borough of 5,100 people within 1.3 square miles, emotions have been rubbed raw.

In addition to Andrew’s death and Tim Schenke’s suicide, a third teen, 16-year-old Robert Bannick, died in his sleep in January. McInerney’s arrest has hung over the community like a cloud, and residents feel the tension between the Clarks and the McInerneys, both admired families with intertwining friendships.

“Trouble in paradise,” Police Chief Mark Steets said in a recent interview, addressing the events of the past nine months with a sigh and a soft shake of his head. “This town has been rocked. Everyone’s a little tender right now, a little shaky. We’re holding our breaths.”


Were Mark Leddy to select a dream team from among the thousands of kids he’s coached over 40 years on the Jersey Shore, Andrew Clark might be the first pick.

Soccer is Leddy’s game, and soccer is where Andrew, a multi-sport athlete heading into his senior year, shone the brightest. It wasn’t just that he could play any position on the field. It wasn’t just that when the ball left his foot, it boomed like a rifle shot.

Leddy said Andrew combined charisma and talent with the desire to make those around him better.

First one up for laps, Leddy said. First to clean up after practice. First to help a teammate master footwork or one of the trick shots Andrew had learned at soccer camp.

“Of all the kids I’ve ever coached, he was just very special young man,” said Leddy, who coached Andrew on travel squads and indoor teams from fourth grade until high school.

“He had a natural enthusiasm you just can’t teach, and he was as dynamic off the field as on. If you had 20 kids come up to you, you’d immediately notice Andrew. Not just his smile, but the way he interacted with people. He was a bright, multitalented, energetic, world-is-your-oyster kind of kid.”

Andrew Clark

Tom Martin came away with the same impression. The president of both the Spring Lake Heights Borough Council and the local Little League, Martin called Andrew a “wonderful kid from a wonderful family.”

“He’d be the first kid in a crowd to come up and shake your hand and say, ‘Hey, Mr. Martin, how are you?’ This was a kid who had everything together,” he said.

Andrew and his younger brother, Shane, 16, grew up on a quiet street across from the Spring Lake Golf Club. With a pool, a wide front porch and an airy, inviting atmosphere, the house was where the brothers’ friends always seemed to end up, the doorbell ringing all afternoon and evening.

Jackie Clark, 42, a teacher in Belmar, and Andrew’s father, Drew, 46, the borough’s code enforcement officer, welcomed the commotion, firing up the grill and cooking sliced steak and buffalo wings by the dozens.

“We liked knowing where they were, and we liked being with them,” Jackie Clark said. “We enjoyed the laughter. It just felt like one big happy family.”

Life revolved around school and sports. Always sports. Soccer. Basketball. Baseball. Wrestling. Lacrosse. When it came time to decide whether Andrew would attend Manasquan High School, which serves Spring Lake Heights and six other towns, or St. Rose High, the decision was an easy one.

St. Rose had a top-notch soccer coach, Tim McInerney, and an equally distinguished baseball coach, Tim’s brother Bart.


For decades, the name McInerney has been synonymous with sports and service in southern Monmouth County. A family of teachers and coaches, the McInerneys collectively have mentored thousands of children.

“Great, great family,” says Chief Steets, who grew up with the 11 McInerney siblings.

“They’re outstanding citizens,” echoes Leddy, the soccer coach.

The family patriarch, James Francis McInerney, was a teacher at St. Catharine School in Spring Lake and later at St. Rose Elementary School, where Jackie Clark was among his students. At St. Rose High, he coached track.

He and his wife were involved in the recreation program in Spring Lake Heights. The program is now headed by their son Pete, the girls basketball coach at the borough’s elementary school. A sister, Joan Bassi, is the school’s athletic director and a gym teacher there.

Bart, the third youngest of the siblings, seemed no less devoted to kids.

For several years in the 1990s, he was president of the Spring Lake Heights Little League. He was a longtime member of the town’s recreation committee. He single-handedly created the Shore Challenge, an annual baseball tournament that attracts dozens of top-flight teams from around the state.

Each Thanksgiving, he organized a popular touch football tournament. In the summers, he ran a baseball league for current and former St. Rose players and a softball league that counted among its members state troopers and police officers.

He had important friends, among them Spring Lake Heights Mayor Elwood Malick, who made McInerney the best man at his wedding last year.

For nearly a decade, he owned a silk-screen printing business that produced uniforms and T-shirts for teams in the area. One of his clients was the police department.

“Before this went down, no one would have ever suspected Bart of anything. Never,” said Martin, the council president. “I don’t know a family who wouldn’t have sent a kid to play for Bart.”

McInerney, who is single and lives alone, is also a man of religion. Former players said McInerney attended services at St. Catharine Church several times a week. At St. Rose High, he insisted his players recite the rosary on the team bus while returning from every away game.

“He had the rosary beads, and he would randomly pass them around,” said Anthony Pianezza, 20, a St. Rose graduate who now attends Fordham University. “It was kind of annoying because you’d have to say it out loud. We’d be having fun, laughing, talking about the game, and it’s like, ‘Oh, here we go again. We have to say the rosary.'”

A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Trenton, Rayanne Bennett, said that until the days before McInerney’s arrest, St. Rose never received a complaint about him. He had a similarly unblemished record at St. Catharine School, where he worked from the late 1980s until the 1993-94 school year, Bennett said.

Because of his long association with the diocese, McInerney did not undergo a criminal background check in past years, the spokeswoman said. Under newer regulations, she said, he was due for one this year.

Steets said a background check wouldn’t have raised an alarm about McInerney. He didn’t have a criminal record, the chief said.

“Sometimes you need a crystal ball,” he said.

McInerney, a graduate of both St. Catharine and St. Rose, worked as a general aide at the elementary school, his duties including everything from making photocopies to breaking down the lunchroom to organizing games on the playground, Bennett said.

It was at St. Catharine that McInerney first showed his talent for coaching, assisting with girls basketball, track and baseball, recalled Diane Meserlin, a family friend and a retired teacher at the school.

“He has a gift for coaching,” Meserlin said.

Few dispute the claim. After McInerney took over the St. Rose baseball program in 1994, the team became a perennial power among parochial schools. In 2005, he won a state title.

“I always thought of him as a good baseball coach who was really passionate about the game,” said Justin Herner, 26, who played for St. Rose in 1999.

Herner and other former players say McInerney always seemed to know when to pinch- hit for a batter, which pitchers to send to the mound, how to best stack the lineup. In the dugout, he was easygoing and calm.

Jackie Clark said Andrew, an outfielder who had been on McInerney’s team in the local Babe Ruth League, looked forward to playing for him again.

“Andrew liked him,” Jackie Clark said. “We liked him. We thought he was a great guy.”

That belief came crashing down with one sentence last August.


“Bart’s a creeper.”

Jackie Clark said the veins in her neck popped out when her son spoke the words. It was his demeanor as much as anything. Embarrassed. Uncomfortable.

He had just returned home from one of McInerney’s legendary “bonding” trips, where members of the baseball team accompanied the coach and a select group of chaperons — assistant coaches and one of McInerney’s sisters — to exotic spots.

They’d see the local sights and play games against local teams. Earlier in the year, Andrew had been to Hawaii. The latest trip took him to Anchorage, Alaska. Parents paid the bills but weren’t permitted to attend.

On that August day, Andrew told his mother he didn’t want to play baseball anymore.

“I stayed calm,” Jackie Clark said. “I said, ‘Okay, Angie boy — I always called him Angie Boy — tell me what you mean.'”

Jackie Clark and Andrew Clark

Coach McInerney was always talking about masturbation, Andrew said. That it was natural, that teenage boys should do it as much as possible. He asked Andrew how often he masturbated, then told him he should do it more often, Jackie Clark said.

The coach never discussed it in front of others; he’d pull Andrew off to the side or corner him in the dugout, Jackie Clark said her son told her.

“You never knew when he was going to talk about it,” Jackie Clark said. “One day he could come up and say something about the game, and the next day he would talk about that.”

There had been no physical contact, Andrew said. McInerney never showed him pornography or tried to give him a drink.

Jackie and Drew Clark would learn later, when their son spoke to investigators, that McInerney allegedly offered Andrew money for text messages with details about the acts. But in those early talks, the teen held it back.

Jackie Clark said she asked Andrew if he wanted to go to police. He recoiled at the idea, afraid no one would take his word over that of an exalted coach.

“Bart’s too big a figure, and I’m going to look like a liar,” Jackie Clark recalled her son saying. Other players on the team, he added, “won’t tell on Bart.”

There was more to the decision. Andrew worried that if he spoke out against McInerney, St. Rose soccer coach Pete McInerney would hold it against him, and success in soccer was important to Andrew’s plan to play the sport in college.

Jackie Clark had been good friends with Bart’s sister Nancy. Andrew was friendly with one of Bart’s nieces. He didn’t want to imperil those relationships.

As a family, they decided against calling police. Andrew would quit baseball and continue to play soccer. He would try to steer clear of McInerney.

But he was troubled enough that his friends saw a change.

“We noticed he was acting funny,” said Pete Schenke, 17, the brother of the teen who took his life in April. “He wasn’t the regular, outgoing, always-ready-to-do-stuff type of kid that he had been. It started to bother him more as time went by.”

Little by little, Andrew opened up to Pete Schenke, Bryan Nadrowski and a few others. McInerney, he told them, had offered $5 for each text message. When Andrew refused, the coach offered $10, he said. Andrew told them he never took the money.

He swore his friends to secrecy. He didn’t want it getting out.

It would be out soon enough.


Jackie Clark was in her classroom when two Belmar detectives arrived at the school in late November. Someone had given the names of Andrew and a teammate to the prosecutor’s office, saying they were potential victims of abuse. Would Andrew be willing to talk about it?

For more than 24 hours, Andrew wrestled with that question, his mother said. Ultimately, he agreed to cooperate.

“He said he didn’t want what happened to him to happen to other children, to the younger kids coming in,” Jackie Clark said. “He was adamant about that.”

The meeting, held at Belmar police headquarters, went on for hours. What Jackie Clark heard stunned her.

Her son spoke of text messages and offers of cash, delving into lurid details in her presence for the first time. Andrew also told detectives about a hidden camera found by one of the players during the trip to Alaska.

Jackie Clark, citing the ongoing investigation, said she could not elaborate on the topic. Warshaw, the spokesman for the prosecutor’s office, declined to comment when asked about it, as did McInerney’s lawyer.

On the night of Nov. 29, a Thursday, detectives arrested McInerney. When the news broke the next day, most of those familiar with the coach expressed shock.

But not everyone.

Casey Cannon, a former player who graduated from St. Rose in June, said he had heard rumors that McInerney had acted inappropriately.

He himself hadn’t been approached by the coach, Cannon said, and “it was so hard to believe that it didn’t really hit me until the charges were filed.”

Those rumors, it turned out, went back years.

Pianezza, the former St. Rose student who recalled reciting the rosary on the team bus, said a number of players were uncomfortable around the coach.

“Andrew wasn’t the only one who felt that way,” Pianezza said. “A lot of kids felt that way.”

For one former player, McInerney’s arrest brought back experiences he’d just as soon forget. The player, now an adult, spoke to authorities after McInerney was charged in November. His statements form the basis for one of the nine counts filed against McInerney last month.

The player, who spoke to The Star-Ledger on the condition that his name and age be withheld to protect his identity, gave a detailed account of his years with McInerney, saying the coach carefully targeted players, tested the waters with them and then relentlessly engaged them in graphic conversations.

“He definitely profiled people,” the player said. “He’d only do it to people he thought he could deal with, people who were respectful of authority figures and trusting. If he sensed you were like, ‘What the (expletive) are you talking about?’ he wouldn’t raise it again.”

The player said McInerney first broached the topic of sex by asking how far he’d been with a girl. Before long, McInerney would steer the conversation to masturbation, the player said.

“He would want to know how many times you did it and how long it lasted, whether or not you watched porn before, whether or not you were using condoms,” the player said.

Sometimes, he said, the talks took place in the middle of practice, leaving the player glancing around to make sure no one was in earshot.

“He would pull you off the side and say, ‘So you been getting$?’em in?'” the player said, referring to masturbation. “It was like, ‘Can I just go and practice?'”

On the first occasion, he said, he had stopped by the coach’s house to say hello, something current and former players did from time to time. McInerney, he said, proceeded to talk about sex and masturbation for several hours.

“Obviously it’s creepy, but he didn’t sound creepy,” the player said. “His body language was almost like he was enjoying the conversation. Me on the chair facing him, I’m sure I looked completely freaked out, and he’s kicking back, relaxing. He’d almost joke to lighten the mood, like, ‘You must be dying right now.'”

The player described McInerney’s basement as a kind of “Neverland Ranch,” with a basketball machine and an air hockey table.

McInerney sent him instant messages on the computer, asking for details, and later asked for cell phone text messages, the player said. In return, he said, McInerney offered to buy him a bat and a glove, items he refused because he did not know how to explain them to his parents.

Even after graduation and until the weeks before the coach’s November arrest, McInerney continued to call, the former player said. Most of the time he didn’t answer. Occasionally, he said, he relented in the hope it would make McInerney go away for a while.

In one conversation, he said, McInerney told him it was better to masturbate than to have sex with a woman if he’d had one too many drinks.

“I just worry about you,” he quoted McInerney as saying. “I don’t want to see you do anything stupid.”

The player said he kept the conversations secret for so long for a simple reason.

“Who would want to talk about that?” he asked. “I still haven’t told my parents everything. Even though they’re your parents and they’re going to love you no matter what, it’s still hard to say it.”


The toll that sexual abuse takes on victims has been well documented. It instills feelings of guilt and shame. It corrodes self-esteem. It can lead to confusion and depression.

If the abuser is a teacher or a cop or a coach, a victim might feel powerless to stop it, creating an inner war between feelings of disgust and an ingrained respect for authority, said Peter Harris, the chairman of psychiatry at Jersey Shore University Medical Center in Neptune.

“That conflict may continue long after the abuse goes away,” Harris said. “He or she may feel scarred, defective — literally, like someone missing a hand will feel defective.”

Relationships may suffer. Rejection may be more difficult to take.

When a victim is a teenager, there is the added fuel of roiling emotions. Teens tend to “catastrophize” events, Harris said, swinging in a matter of moments from normalcy to utter despondency — even to suicidal moods — over disappointments.

Sometimes the signs are obvious — irritability, a sudden lack of personal hygiene or failing schoolwork, for instance — and sometimes they’re all but absent.

Andrew, his family and friends said, showed no consistent signs of depression. Mostly, he was the same old Andrew, flashing the trademark grin captured in so many photos, throwing himself into sports, enjoying friends.

But he had his moments.

“During the week, he’d be mostly fine. School and sports took his mind off it,” Bryan Nadrowski said. “But on the weekends, it would bother him.”

Cruel comments didn’t help.

“When it all came out, a couple members of the (St. Rose) baseball team were really on him,” Pete Schenke said. “One kid on the team said to Andrew, ‘If I see you around, I’m gonna beat you up.’ It was Andrew’s life getting messed up, and this guy threatened him. Andrew got real upset about that.”

Some people said he had made the story up, Bryan said. Then there were the taunts, drive-by references to McInerney from kids who learned Andrew had come forward.

“Everyone knew,” Bryan said. “Sometimes he would even joke about it, but only with our close circle of friends, because he knew we supported him. It was different when other people did it.”

Immediately after McInerney’s arrest, Andrew transferred to Manasquan High, where his friends and brother were students. He began to play baseball again. He joined the lacrosse team. But he couldn’t shake the feeling that McInerney was hanging over him, interfering with his life, his friends said. That translated into girl troubles.

“He wanted to prove to himself that girls still liked him, and not just old men,” Pete Schenke said. “He was looking for a long-term girlfriend, and if a girl said no to him, it really got to him.”

As a precaution, Andrew began to see a therapist. Jackie and Drew Clark watched their son for behavioral changes, but none leaped out at them, and Andrew insisted he was fine.

In January came news that a Spring Lake Heights teenager had died. The rumor mill spit out the notion that 16-year-old Robert Bannick, known at Manasquan High as Bobby, had overdosed on drugs, perhaps even committed suicide.

Two weeks ago, the medical examiner ruled that Bannick did neither. Suffering from pneumonia, he aspirated in his sleep, according to the ME’s report.

Andrew knew Bannick but wasn’t friends with him. Three months later, a death would hit much closer to home.

Tim Schenke, due to graduate in June, was ranked fourth in his class at Manasquan High. A member of the National Honor Society, he had been awarded a $100,000 scholarship to Drexel University, where he planned to study engineering. Two years running, he was the starting sweeper on the varsity soccer team.

He also struggled off and on with depression, said his mother, Lisa Schenke.

“He was loved by many, but unfortunately, he didn’t love himself,” she said. “He was capable but not confident, and things got worse after a girl dropped him in December, and then it got worse after Bobby’s death. He knew Bobby.”

In January, even before Bannick’s death, Tim Schenke threatened to commit suicide, prompting his parents to have him committed for intensive psychiatric treatment. He soon convinced doctors he was no longer a threat to take his own life, and because he had turned 18, he was permitted to sign himself out, Lisa Schenke said.

He continued with treatment on an outpatient basis. He said he felt better, his mother said.

And then, at 6:40 p.m. on April 26, he stepped in front of an NJ Transit train at the Wall Road crossing.

Pete Schenke said Andrew proved an incredible comfort after his brother’s death, staying by his side for days.

“He was hugging me and looked me straight in the eye and said, ‘We’ll never let this happen again. We’ll be best friends forever, for the rest of our lives,'” Pete Schenke said.

Jackie Clark, concerned about the effect of Tim Schenke’s death on her son, brought Andrew to extra therapy sessions. She talked with him about suicide.

“He spoke about how selfish it was,” she said. “He knew the pain that family felt. He consoled them. He said, ‘I would never hurt anyone like that.'”

In the weeks that followed, life returned to its natural rhythms. School and sports. Get-togethers and laughs. But Andrew’s dark moods seemed to intensify, Pete Schenke said.

Thinking about McInerney bothered him more, his friends said. Just driving by the coach’s house, knowing he was in there and not in a cell, made him angry. At some point, he knew, he would have to testify before the grand jury, and he was mentally preparing himself for the moment.

As always, he shook off the ugliness.

On the night of June 19 — graduation night for Manasquan’s seniors — he seemed to be feeling great.


Outside Manasquan High School, Andrew let out a whoop.

Summer vacation had arrived. In two days, he’d be in the Cayman Islands with his family and the Nadrowskis. In the fall, he’d be a senior. Top of the food chain.

College recruiters had already sent letters. Bucknell. Quinnipiac. Rider. He’d signed up for an SAT review course.

In the meantime, he’d spend his summer in the sun, lifeguarding at a local apartment complex, hanging with friends, staying sharp on the ballfield.

“That was one of the best moods I’d seen him in in a long time,” Pete Schenke said. “He was so happy and looking forward to his senior year. He was screaming and talking on the phone. He said, ‘We’re gonna have the best time of our lives next year.'”

It was just after 9 p.m. Andrew and Pete had attended the graduation ceremony, where speakers noted the passing of Bobby Bannick and Tim Schenke, saying the Class of 2008 had overcome tragedy and adversity.

By 9:30, they were at a party at a friend’s house.

“People were hanging around the pool in back,” Pete said. “It was a good time.”

At 11 p.m., Jackie Clark checked in with her son on the phone.

“He sounded happy as a lark,” she said. “He said that if he needed a ride, he’d call.”

At about 11:45, Andrew told Pete he was heading out.

“Yo, dawg, hit me up tomorrow,” Andrew told him. “We’ll get some pork roll at the Bagel Basket.”

There had been beer at the party, but Andrew definitely didn’t seem drunk, Pete said. He was still in a good mood. Normal.

Andrew walked out.

At 12:02 a.m. on June 20, Bryan Nadrowski’s cell phone rang.

He was walking with a friend, not far from his home. It was Andrew. Bryan instantly recognized trouble in his voice.

“I’m at the tracks,” Andrew told him.

“What tracks?” Bryan asked.

“I don’t know.”

“Well, what town?” Bryan asked again.

“Spring Lake,” Andrew answered.

“Wait for me.”

Andrew said he would.

Bryan sprinted for the Wall Road crossing. At 12:05, his phone rang again. Still running, he answered. Then the call cut off. The caller ID showed it was Andrew.

Bryan immediately called back. Straight to voice mail.

It was still 12:05 when Bryan dialed Pete Schenke.

“Bryan said something had happened at the tracks, and Andrew wasn’t answering his phone,” he said.

Pete tried Andrew’s phone, too. Voice mail.

He ran for the tracks.

Chief Steets was at home, still awake, when his house phone and cell phone rang at the same time. One call was from headquarters, the other from a relative whose child had been text-messaged with word that someone had been hit by a train.

“Oh no,” he recalled thinking. “Not again.”

In the few minutes it took to get to the crossing, hundreds of teens had gathered, summoned by phone and text message, Steets said. Many were crying.

School officials opened Manasquan High and called in counselors. Scores of people would remain there deep into the night.

Andrew’s friends and family may never learn what triggered the mood in those final minutes.

Did someone make a comment as he left the party? Did it strike on its own?

Jackie Clark believes her son suffered a moment of bad judgment in going to the tracks. She wishes he had called her, let her fix things.

She takes some solace in the belief that Andrew, despite the dangerous thoughts in his head, changed his mind.

The train’s engineer, the man at the controls, would tell police no one was on the tracks as the engine and its three coaches sliced through the night toward Bay Head at 60 mph.

Out of the corner of his eye, he caught a glimpse of someone directly next to the tracks and applied the emergency braking system, NJ Transit spokeswoman Penny Bassett Hackett said.

“Unfortunately and tragically, somehow Andrew came into contact with the train,” she said.

Some 4,200 people attended Andrew’s memorial service, nearly filling the lower level of the sprawling Great Auditorium in Ocean Grove.

In their own ways, Andrew’s family and friends are seeking to honor his memory.

Pete Schenke will play soccer at Manasquan High in the fall; Andrew had urged him to go out for the team. Bryan Nadrowski wears Andrew’s armband. Two weeks ago, he had Andrew’s initials tattooed on his chest.

Both are selling T-shirts to benefit a scholarship fund established by Andrew’s parents.

Jackie Clark said the best way she can honor Andrew is to see that Bart McInerney goes to prison. She has recently hired a lawyer, and she plans to sue both the coach and his employer, the Diocese of Trenton.

“This man twisted my son’s mind,” she said. “Andrew couldn’t verbalize the torment that was inside him. I have a louder voice. To the day I die, I will make sure that justice is served.”

Read the story at NJ.com (Aug. 9, 2008)

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