Skip to comments.Fairfax Co. [VA] police: VRE train hits, kills 13-year-old girl
Posted on 06/29/2017 4:43:03 AM PDT by COBOL2Java
A 13-year-old girl walking on the bridge at Bull Run between Clifton and Manassas was struck and killed by a VRE train Wednesday afternoon. (Courtesy Chopper4/NBC Washington)
The teen, whose name has not yet been released, was hit by a VRE train between mile marker 28 and 29 near Clifton, Virginia, around 3 p.m. Police said the girl had been hiking with two family members: a 13-year-old boy and a 22-year-old man.
The teens were walking on the bridge at Bull Run between Clifton and Manassas. When a train approached, the boy was able to get out of the way, but the girl was hit, according to police.
Police say she was a student at Lake Braddock Secondary School.
(Excerpt) Read more at wtop.com ...
Probably Hispanic. These folks seem to attract pedestrian-with-vehicle accidents the way trailer parks attract tornados.
That and her 22 year old companion’s.
Trains can’t stop and people should stay off the tracks.
But her family will get a major payout anyway.
Given the reported facts I can be more specific than that: Salvadorian illegal alien, 95%+ confidence.
On a side note: I've gradually come to the view that all bridges, railroad and highway bridges (including interstate bridges) should have pedestrian and bike lanes as a matter of course. Design standards change over time, and this is a change that is long overdue.
If you will go to Google maps and look at the site of this accident, you will note that this stretch of Bull Run Creek is bordered by existing park land on both sides. These young people were walking their dog in a park. There was no way to get across the creek except for the railroad bridge. They took a chance. And I would not be surprised if this was a chance they had taken many times before, and that many others routinely take as well.
I could be wrong about that, but this area is High Suburbia, where people still worship their automobiles and the fast-dwindling open space is being bulldozed as fast as the developers can buy the local politicians and flip the zoning. It is well out of my biking range, but I know the area from carting kids to soccer games, as well as from the Manassas battlefield and from exploring up the rail line, which has multiple Civil War sites along the way (Catlett's Station, Bristoe Station, Manassas Junction, etc.). It is filling up fast.
If you will go to the biking app on Google Maps, you will see good emerging bike infrastructure a few miles to the northeast (Burke, Fairfax City, Herndon, Reston, etc.) and a much less developed system just starting to emerge further south, where short sighted people still think they're living in the country (because they can still drive two miles from their brand new cul de sac before hitting bumper to bumper traffic on the main roads into DC).
This is a classic case of an area that needs to be looking 30 years ahead, when it will be as dense as Annandale, and building appropriate infrastructure now. Biking and hiking networks should be part of the plan, and would be relatively easy at this stage. (They're much more expensive to retrofit later, when even the slow-witted types realize that they're living in an urban place and start complaining that they don't have enough parks and recreation.) Bull Run Creek, of course, is the county line, which will undoubtedly make it almost impossible for Fairfax and Prince George's County bureaucrats to agree on anything, but they really should find a way to get it done.
Anyhow, check Google Maps and you will see that this long stretch of Bull Run Creek is part of an irregular quadrilateral running from the City of Manassas to Woodbridge where there are no bike routes across the stream. Which means that bicyclists will be hopping up onto commuter roads, which are no longer quiet country backroads. And kids walking in a public park will continue to be tempted to cross the railroad trestle.
I'm not demanding that the railroad rush out and rebuild all its trestles overnight, but I'd change the design standard and add the new capacity the next time major work is being done. Speed it up in areas with high potential demand. Do the same on highways. Bridges shouldn't be chokepoints for non-motorized traffic.
You do realize that the railroad right of way and its bridges are the same as private property and that, sad as it may be, tresspassers assume the risk when illegally traversing it.
You appear to have a marked prediliction for government intrusion in all manner of things resulting essentially in grabbing taxpayer money to fulfil your wish list. Do you work for any government?
While I don't know what one's fair share is I do wonder if anyone, parents, teachers, or friends ever suggested the potential dangers or were you able to figure that out on your own and conduct your share accordingly?
My point is simply that we will all be better off if we make reasonable accommodations to address foreseeable issues. If a railroad trestle is the only crossing of a river for miles in either direction -- or, in this case, a railroad trestle is the only crossing of a stream in the middle of a long stretch of parkland that is open to hikers, picnickers, families with children, dogwalkers, birderwatchers and our friends in the fishing community -- we can reasonably anticipate that people will use the crossing unless it is actively barred. Such a trestle becomes an attractive hazard.
Who should pay for an accommodation often becomes controversial. I grew up in a small town bisected by railroad tracks. I understand that the railroad was there long before the town grew to any appreciable size. I also understand that trains have gotten a lot longer, and that it becomes a problem when a train is long enough to block every cross street in town. And since we had a siding and some manufacturing and transportation facilities that sometimes loaded and unloaded cargo, trains would stop. The railroad may have been there first, but is the railroad liable when it stops all cross town traffic for an hour, when the hospital is on one side of the tracks, the fire station on the other, and people have emergencies? My hometown eventually got it sorted out after 40 years of bickering, but this sort of thing is chronic.
If the bridge in question is a public road, I'd add the cost of hiking/biking lanes to the overall roads budget. Roads should be viewed in terms of an integrated transportation plan that makes accommodation where appropriate for non-motorized movement. In the case of a private entity like a railroad, multiple use of infrastructure is still desirable, but the cost sharing is more complex. You are probably familiar with "rails to trails" systems that use abandoned rail rights of way. The next iteration is "trails with rails" that utilize an existing railroad right of way to locate an adjacent trail. This is a perfectly sensible thing to do. The added cost, in my opinion, should be borne by the entity that is building the hiking/biking trail. But when it comes to a fixture like a bridge, it gets more complicated. As a practical matter, railroads are in continuous negotiation with the cities and counties through which they run on myriad issues. Yes, the railroads are private companies, but they enjoy a public right of way that comes with an obligation to serve the public interest on things like safety, crossings, and access.
That’s a railroad bridge. It is most emphatically NOT a pedestrian bridge. When pedestrians choose to walk on railroad bridges, and die as a result, their death is at their own hands.
I think your comment was meant for me.
Yes, of course, parents all warned against crossing the railroad trestle over the river, which was long enough and high enough to be scary. (If I recall correctly, there were a couple of platforms on it for the safety of railroad workers who might get caught on the bridge when a train came.) This was in southern Indiana in the 1950's, and we also had old limestone quarries in the woods with sheer 40 foot walls that were perfect for little kids to climb. We were warned against that too. Just like we weren't supposed to go down into caves. But since our parents had all taken the same or similar risks when they were young, they accepted it as a part of growing up.
We never lost anyone, but we did have a close shave when we were cornered by cows. We were moving along a creek bank on the edge of a farmer's field. The cows came over the investigate. Cows are pretty big when you are pretty little, and none of us were farm kids who were comfortable around big animals. We took shelter behind the trees on the edge of the creek. The bigger kids could swim across but the really little ones -- they might have been five or six -- were too scared to do that, so a couple of the bigger kids had to swim across and go fetch a parent. We learned our lesson about not taking little kids along when we went exploring.
True, true, and true. BUT: there is a long stretch of parkland on the north bank. There is a long stretch of parkland on the south bank. The surrounding area is heavily suburbanized and the remaining open space is rapidly being developed. The creek, however, is also the county line, and the two counties have never cooperated to throw a footbridge over the creek. That, of course, is the best solution to the problem. Until there is a footbridge, people are going to use the railroad trestle. That is a reality. Yes, they do so at their own risk. That's fine with me. But there really should be a footbridge. Suspend or cantilever it using the existing railroad trestle as a base, or build a new structure entirely, but it should be possible to safely cross a small stream bordered by parks on both sides.
CLIFTON, Va. - A teenage girl who was struck and killed by a Virginia Railway Express train near Clifton on Wednesday has been identified by officials.
Fairfax County Police said 13-year-old Reyhan Safoglu, of Burke, was fatally struck by the train at Bull Run Bridge at about 3 p.m.
Authorities said Reyhan, who was a student at Lake Braddock Secondary School, was hiking in the area with her 13-year-old cousin and 21-year-old brother.
She has been identified and according to google, the name, ‘Safoglu’ is Turkish.
I’m quite familiar with the area; lived in Herndon once upon a time.
Wrong guy, you want spinks
>> the name, Safoglu is Turkish <<
My bad. I guess it shows that Hispanic pedestrians attract only cars and trucks, not wheeled vehicles in general.
It was a good guess. Who’d have guess Turkish?