A 14-year-old girl was killed when she was struck by a freight train, according to police sources. Jenna Betti was an eighth grader at local Martinez Junior High School. She was found near the railroad tracks between Old Orchard and Howe Roads after a phone call was put in to emergency services of a person struck by a train. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
It is unclear exactly why she was near the tracks or if anyone else was involved. The freight company, BNSF Railway, is said to be investigating the accident.
Tragic Train Accident Is Not An Isolated Incident
Unfortunately, the death of this young woman is not an isolated incident. Trains kill hundreds of people every year, the majority of which are pedestrians or occupants of a car or other vehicle. In 2013, according to the Federal Railroad Administration Office of Safety Analysis, 124 people died in railroad-related accidents in California. The total number of accidents or incidents for the year in California was 780.
Of these accidents, 76 of the deaths and 52 of the injuries occurred during what are known as “trespassing” incidents. This means that the victim was in some way on or near the tracks but not at a regular crossing at the time of the crash. That is not to say that the accident was the victim’s fault; however, train companies make this distinction in order to show the number of accidents that occur at marked crossings as opposed to those at unmarked locations.
Collecting Damages From A Train Accident
The victim of a train accident could be injured or killed in one of several ways:
- As a pedestrian. Any time someone walks on or near railroad tracks, there is a chance that the person could be hurt or, as in this case, even killed by an oncoming train.
- As a driver or passenger in a vehicle. Many people are hurt or killed by a train when they inadvertently drive onto the tracks in the path of an oncoming train, or when they hit the train itself due to their inability to stop. This type of accident is more common at a crossing marked only with signs than at one with a crossbar and lights.
- As a passenger on the train. Occasionally train accidents will result in a person who is riding on the train being killed. While not as common as pedestrian or car fatalities or casualties, the injuries sustained in a train crash are often very serious.
If you have been injured in a train accident, it is important to discuss your case with a personal injury attorney to protect your rights.