A California girl was sucked under a freight train and killed while retrieving her cell phone from the tracks this weekend.
Jenna Betti, 14, was hanging out on the tracks with her boyfriend near Martinez on Sunday evening. The train crew of the eastbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway freighter said they saw the teens jump out of the way as the train came around a bend, according to a company spokeswoman. But a split-second decision would prove fatal for Betti.
“Both individuals got off of the track, and for some unknown reason, one of the individuals came back on the track,” railway spokeswoman Lena Kent told the San Francisco Chronicle.
According to her mother, Jenna went back for her phone.
“She dropped her phone and went back to retrieve it,” Dena Betti wrote in a Facebook post. “She didn’t judge the approach, and the train creates a vacuum, we were told, and it sucks you in… we are beyond devastated.”
Betti, an 8th grader at Martinez Junior High School, was a popular student and star soccer player. On Monday, classmates at the school wore pink — her favorite color — in her memory. District officials had grief counselors on hand to help students through the tragedy.
“It’s a hard issue to deal with students. We want them to know that it was a tragic accident and that her life will be remembered,” Rami Muth, Martinez Unified School District superintendent, told CBS San Francisco.
Friends and family are left struggling to cope with their loss.
“I can’t really put myself in her shoes, but I think she wasn’t really thinking, and didn’t really think twice, and she just reacted and tried to get her phone as quick as she could,” family friend Stephen Bielecki told the Chronicle.