Crock­ett High School stu­dent on foot struck by train,

Girl is hos­pi­tal­ized with in­juries to her lower ex­trem­i­ties.

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE - By Mark Wil­son md­wil­son@states­man.com Con­tact Mark Wil­son at 512445-3636.

A Crock­ett High School stu­dent was hos­pi­tal­ized Fri­day morn­ing after she was hit by a train in South Austin near the school.

Austin-Travis County Emer­gency Med­i­cal Ser­vices re­sponded around 5:30 a.m. to a sec­tion of rail­road tracks on West Stass­ney Lane near Rose Hill Cir­cle.

Medics ar­rived and found the girl suf­fer­ing from in­juries to her lower ex­trem­i­ties.

Austin po­lice Lt. Brian Gret­zner con­firmed that the girl was a stu­dent, but no other in­for­ma­tion about her was avail­able.

She was taken to St. David’s South Austin Med­i­cal Cen­ter with se­ri­ous, but not life-threat­en­ing in­juries, au­thor­i­ties said.

Union Pa­cific spokesman Jeff DeGraff said the train’s con­duc­tor spot­ted the girl walk­ing south to­ward the train as it headed north. The con­duc­tor im­me­di­ately tried to bring the train to an emer­gency stop and sounded its horn, but the girl did not get out of the way, DeGraff said.

The train stopped and blocked off Stass­ney for more than an hour while medics and Austin Fire Depart­ment crews worked at the scene. The road­way was re­opened shortly be­fore 7 a.m.

A year ago this month, a sim­i­lar in­ci­dent hap­pened in Buda when 13-year-old Tan­ley Ya­cos died after she was struck by a pass­ing train. Au­thor­i­ties said she sneaked out of her home March 26 with a friend and was walk­ing on the track when she was hit. Her friend was not hurt.

The rail line in­volved in Fri­day’s in­ci­dent cuts a swath through the heart of sev­eral South Austin neigh­bor­hoods and runs along the east­ern edge of the Crock­ett High School cam­pus.

Another Crock­ett stu­dent, James Dakota, died less than a mile away on the same stretch of track on Sept. 23, 2010. Po­lice said the teen was walk­ing near the 1700 block of Stan­ley Av­enue around 5:15 p.m. when he was hit.

As in Fri­day morn­ing’s crash, au­thor­i­ties said the train’s crew sounded their horn and tried to get the 16-year-old’s at­ten­tion but were un­suc­cess­ful.

In 2006, 18-year-old Tara Rose McAvoy, a Miss Deaf Texas, also was struck and killed by a train while of­fi­cials said she was tex­ting and walk­ing along the tracks at Ol­torf Street and Thor­ton Road, about 2 miles north of Fri­day’s in­ci­dent.

Crock­ett Prin­ci­pal Kori Craw­ford sent a letter after the in­ci­dent urg­ing stu­dents to take the fol­low­ing steps to stay safe around trains:

Stay alert. Trains can come from ei­ther di­rec­tion at any time and can be very quiet.

Obey all warning signs and sig­nals and be mind­ful when us­ing head­sets or cell­phones.

Watch the over­hang. Trains are wider than the tracks; never sit on the edge of a sta­tion plat­form.

Stand away from the edge of the plat­form. Pay at­ten­tion to painted or raised mark­ings at the plat­form edge, and stay at least 3 feet from the train while it is com­ing in or out of the sta­tion.

Cross safely. Al­ways follow di­rec­tional signs and mark­ings that let you know where it is safe to cross the tracks. Cross­ing the tracks any­where other than des­ig­nated ar­eas is dan­ger­ous and il­le­gal.

DEB­O­RAH CAN­NON / AMER­I­CAN-STATES­MAN

A train sits on tracks Fri­day at Stass­ney Lane in South Austin. A Crock­ett High School stu­dent was struck by a train near the cam­pus Fri­day morn­ing, then taken to St. David’s South Austin Med­i­cal Cen­ter.

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