A Florida girl who was struck and killed by a train as she walked home this week was wearing headphones and “looking down” at her phone at the time of the accident, police said.
According to the Miami Herald, Yazmin White, 11, was fatally hit Wednesday afternoon as she crossed the tracks while en route to her Haines City home. The Polk County Sheriff’s Office recently announced that the locomotive engineer won’t face charges, as it appears that White was distracted when the accident occurred.
“The [locomotive engineer] told detectives he blew the horn repeatedly while also applying the brakes,” the sheriff’s office said.
“Yazmin White did not make any indication that she was aware the train was approaching her. He told detectives she was looking down at her phone while walking. Evidence indicates White was wearing headphones at the time of the accident.”
The engineer claimed that the two-engine Amtrak train with 12 passenger cars was traveling at 68 mph when he spotted the little girl crossing the tracks, officials said.
Investigators estimated that White had 30 seconds to get off the tracks but, because she was looking at her phone, she probably had mere moments to react.
“…And never, ever heard the train until the absolute last seconds when she looked up and it was too late and she tried to jump off of the tracks,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd told WTVT.
The local news station also reported that White was walking home from a convenience store with snacks for her 9-year-old brother.
Reports indicate that White had recently transferred to the Davenport School of the Arts in Polk County to study piano. Officials described the 11-year-old as “vibrant” and said she made a lot of friends.
Polk County Public Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd said, “She is going to be greatly missed. Greatly missed by the students and the faculty.”
[Featured Image: Yazmin White/Polk County Schools]