Thursday February 25th 2010, 5:44 PM
Filed under: Grief,kids,lessons,questions

It Was Avoidable

This morning around 10 am, two teenaged girls were hit by a train and killed. The suffering of their parents, I can’t even begin to imagine.

I mention this because both of the girls went to school with my niece. They were killed less than half a block away from her home….a home which also faces the tracks.

Every day in school, their absence will be felt by their friends. Their desks will be empty as well as their spots at the lunch table. Their friends will walk past their lockers expecting to see their faces or hear their laughter. They will walk past “that place” and always remember what happened there.

I know. I lost a friend at the same age. He slipped on wet leaves and fell under a trolley. To this day, when I pass that trolley stop, I say a prayer for him because I remember that tragic day.

For me, his death made me more aware of standing back away from the edge of the platform. I learned to respect the rolling steel box that took us to and from school every day. I tried to impart this lesson to my own kids. They also walked along the trolley tracks and sometimes the train tracks. I would beg them to stay away. When I caught them, they were grounded, but they continued to walk the tracks with their friends. They thought I didn’t know, but they were “immortal” teenagers.

This is not the first time that a train has taken such young lives. Each of my sons lost a classmate in this way. No matter that Amtrak places fences along the rails. Kids will find a way to take a shortcut. Such a steep price to pay for saving a few seconds.

I don’t understand why we can’t learn from these tragedies. I mean ‘we’ as in ‘humans’. Living in an area close to two major train lines, I hear these stories more than once or twice a year. It is not only children who cross where they shouldn’t. It isn’t only teenagers who take a shortcut when they are out walking. Adults are guilty of this behavior also.

I’ll prayer for these girls and their families. I’ll pray for my niece and all of her friends.

And I’ll pray that someday, maybe someday soon, the message will sink in…..Keep off the tracks.


  1. Finn said:

    on February 25, 2010 at 6:49 PM

    How awful. But you’re right, not matter what we say or what we do, kids will think it’s not going to happen to them.

    Saying a couple of extra prayers for the families today. xo

  2. Sybil Law said:

    on February 25, 2010 at 7:13 PM

    For the same reason we didn’t listen to everything our parents told us – or, rather, apply the advice. Sooo frustrating, though.

  3. Metalmom said:

    on February 25, 2010 at 7:19 PM

    Finn-I wonder where that trait came from in the first place? The “invincibility gene” had to start somewhere…:(

  4. Metalmom said:

    on February 25, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    SybilLaw-Very frustrating. I’m saddened every time I hear the news stories. Just yesterday I read of two girls in FL who were killed by a train while walking across a trestle. Such a waste… :((

  5. Robin said:

    on February 26, 2010 at 10:49 AM

    That breaks my heart…

  6. Metalmom said:

    on February 26, 2010 at 11:23 AM

    Robin- Mine too. =((

  7. Avitable said:

    on February 26, 2010 at 1:04 PM

    Wow, that’s horrible. I always wonder how that happens, too, when trains are pretty visible and audible. Such a tragedy.

  8. Metalmom said:

    on February 26, 2010 at 1:11 PM

    Avitable-The Acela trains seem to run so fast. Even outside of my SIL’s house, it just sounds like a whisper as it approaches and then suddenly it’s there and THEN you can hear it. :(

  9. teri said:

    on February 27, 2010 at 7:56 PM

    this story made me so sad. I also wonder why they didn’t hear the train coming? Was it a suicide pact like the media is saying?

    I thank god that my NJ train, PATCO, is elevated and surrounded by barb wired fences. I think a worker was killed a few years ago but that has been the only death in the history of the train, I believe.

    Prayers and peace to their families and friends.

  10. Metalmom said:

    on February 27, 2010 at 8:07 PM

    teri-If you see the answer I gave to Avitable, it might explain the sound issue. As far as the death pact, no one knows for sure, but you can bet that if they find out that it was one, it will be ALL OVER THE NEWS! :(

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