ALBERTA

Trains Hits Bow Island Girl; Was Walking Wearing Headphones

05/31/2013 02:40 EDT | Updated 08/02/2013 05:12 EDT
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MEDICINE HAT, Alta. - A girl who was wearing headphones and reading a book was killed in southern Alberta on Friday when she was struck by a Canadian Pacific freight train while she walked across the tracks.

RCMP said the 16-year-old was hit by a westbound train as it rumbled through the community of Bow Island southwest of Medicine Hat.

Police said she was hit at a marked crossing equipped with flashing lights and alarm bells. The train was blowing its warning horn before the collision.

Emergency medical personnel transported the girl to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

RCMP said they would not be releasing her name.

The mayor of Bow Island told the town's newspaper that the whole community was mourning the girl's death.

“Everybody is shocked. Everybody is dismayed and saddened to lose such a young member of our community,” Gordon Reynolds told the Forty Mile County Commentator.

“In small towns, we are all connected to each other in one way or another. We work together. We socialize together. This is going to hit everybody hard.”

The town has been trying for several years to have crossing arms installed at the spot where the girl was hit, Reynolds said.

“We were approved for the crossing arms through Transport Canada and CP (Rail) a couple of years ago, with the three parties, including us, to have paid the cost," he said.

"We rose up on the priority list, but moved back down the list, sadly, because there had been no fatalities.”

The cost of the crossing arms is between $90,000 and $100,000, plus regular maintenance expenses, the mayor said.

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