Friends recall train amputation incident

January 24, 2009 8:04:08 PM PST
Neighbors are upset and in disbelief after a young girl had her legs severed by a train. That little girl remains in the hospital Saturday night, just 24 hours after the accident happened. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

Eyewitnesses say a group of children had been playing a dangerous game on passing trains.

"I felt that she was, she was going to die," said one of the girls, Grecia Martinez.

Martinez and her younger brother, Eric, will never forget what they saw as their neighborhood friend was hit by a train.

They were among a small group of kids that had jumped a backyard fence near the tracks, and were simply trying to have fun by grabbing onto the train.

"She grabbed onto the train. Her feet were pushing the rocks, like sliding. Her foot got stuck, and then..." said Martinez.

Martinez's description stopped there. What happened next is a worst-case scenario as the 11-year-old girl's legs were severed by the train.

"I was afraid to see her right there, and I was real sad about it too," said Martinez.

"They're not allowed to play back there at all. That was enough, they don't play back there," said neighbors Dorothy and Richard Pruitt.

The Pruitts live nearby and hate to think about this happening to one of their own boys. They dropped an offer of help at the parents' door.

The Martinez kids have learned the worst of lessons, the hard way.

"To not go to the train tracks when the train is coming," said Martinez.

In the meantime, they wonder about their friend.

"I hope she is she okay, and I hope she comes back," said Martinez.

The entire neighborhood is hoping for the same.

At last check, the girl was in critical condition. Her identity is not being released at this point.

Nearly a third of all train-related deaths and injuries are caused by human factors like trespassing on tracks. The Federal Railroad Administration received nearly 10,300 accident reports last year. More than 700 people died in these accidents, while 7,000 others were injured. There were 49 deaths reported in Texas.

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