The real life version of Stand by Me detailed in a Detroit News story titled “Ann Arbor police warn against jumping into river from bridges after emergency train stop” was not nearly as colorful as would be described by one of the four young protagonists’ future selves in Richard Dreyfuss’s voice.
First off, the Amtrak train actually stopped on Wednesday and the engineer got out to yell at the boys for being on the rail bridge over the Huron River – how the hell the train actually stopped isn’t clear – which quickly turned into a physical confrontation with the boys (described as “young men” in the story) shoving the engineer. The boys then yelled something about seeing a drowned or drowning body in the river as they ran away, but a search by rescue personnel turned up nothing.
And that’s it. There was no movie-within-a-movie about Lardass winning the pie-eating contest, a confrontation with Ace Merill and his gang of greasers, or lamenting how Chris had turned his life around and gotten a law degree before getting his throat slashed at a McDonald’s. There are no larger lessons about life to draw from this, except the Ann Arbor Police reminding locals to stay off the train tracks at all times even if you think Ray Brower’s body is out there somewhere.