An 11-year-old Florida girl was killed Wednesday when she was struck by a train while looking at her phone and wearing headphones, police say. It is believed that she was unaware that a train was approaching.
The incident happened at about 4:45 p.m. ET on Wednesday after 11-year-old Yazmin White left a small grocery store along U.S. Route 17 in Haines City. She was struck as she tried to cross the railroad tracks after walking through a wooded area.
Michele Cash, a spokeswoman for the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, said an Amtrak passenger train heading towards Winter Haven with 12 passenger cars and two engines was approaching at a speed of 68 miles (109 kilometers) per hour when the conductor noticed the girl.
“The conductor told detectives he blew the horn repeatedly while also applying the brakes. Yazmin White did not make any indication that she was aware the train was approaching her,” Cash said. “He told detectives she was looking down at her phone while walking.”
Evidence at the scene indicated that Yazmin was also wearing headphones at the time of the accident, which could explain why she did not hear the train’s horn. Yazmin was pronounced dead at the scene, Cash said.
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