Friends, detectives search for answers in Light Rail death

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- Wade Stokely had bright eyes, a big group of friends, and liked to be the life of the party. Now all those friends have left are memories. Tuesday night they gathered near the Light Rail in Tempe to pray for him near the spot where he died.

"I just couldn't believe it. It seemed unreal," said Brittney Harrison, who's known Stokely since high school. "Once I met him I was like this is going to be like my best friend."

She said he often used the Light Rail, and was at the Sycamore Drive and Main Street station Friday afternoon where police say he was seen on the platform, then moved toward the tracks. The coming train caught Stokley, dragging his body to the next stop. Mesa Police are working to fill in the gaps.

"We're trying to conduct as many interviews as possible, review that surveillance footage and try to find out why he was there, what he was doing there, if he tripped, if he fell, if it was a purposeful move...all of those questions we just simply don't have yet," said Detective Steve Berry with Mesa Police.

Stokely's friends don't have answers either.

"I haven't really heard anything or seen anything out of the usual or that he's acting different, or drug use," said Harrison. "He just seemed like plain silly old Wade!"

That silly guy was the one they loved.

Mesa Police said they're looking through surveillance video from the train platform, along with interviewing witnesses and waiting for toxicology tests to come back. They hope each will shed light on what happened.