State Police say 39-year-old Leon G. Jayson of Patio Circle Drive in Oneida was traveling north on Fox Road in the Town of Verona when it approached a train crossing. Jayson was riding on a motorcycle with his wife, 37-year-old Sherry L. Jayson.
Police say that as the Jaysons came upon the tracks, their motorcycle was unable to stop and struck the crossing gate. The gate was lowered and operational. The couple was ejected from the bike and struck the moving train. Police say it does not appear that the motorcycle hit the train.
The Jaysons were pronounced dead at the scene.
Many friends and family immediately thought of the Jayson's five children - aged 10 to 19. Jeanie Jayson, Leon's former stepmother, said the couple were wonderful parents and she was heartbroken to hear that the five children would be without their parents.
"I was there last night until a little after 1," said a tearful Jeanie Jayson as she looked at the crash site. "It was devastating. We all hugged, we all cried and we all talked about the things they do together and it was all we could do to get through the tears - it was very difficult to do."
This is the second tragedy the Jayson family has faced in the past few months. Leon Jayson's brother recently died after a car accident.
"Six months ago his brother was in an accident and was on life support," said Jeanie Jayson "I don't remember how many days but they had to pull life support. Six months ago today that accident happened."
Jeanie Jayson said both Leon and Sherry were experienced riders and usually very careful. The couple were also well known as local cheerleading coaches and loved to do everything together. Jeanie Jayson said all five children will always remember how close their parents were.
"The fifteen year old said - they wee always inseparable and now they're together forever."
Jayson says she believes that for at least the time being, the five children will live with their paternal grandparents. She says the five children are very close and hopes that tight bond will help them through this tragedy.