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.
Reyhan and her cousin were walking on the bridge when the train approached, according to police. While Reyhan’s cousin was able to get out of the way, officials said she couldn’t get off the tracks in time and was struck.
Reyhan was pronounced dead at the scene. Police said their investigation into the incident was ongoing.
Emel Safoglu said her daughter was her world. She loved life, loved to perform and loved everyone around her.
When the 13-year-old’s mother found out about what happened to her precious girl, she said her whole world fell apart. She hopes no other parent or family member will have to say goodbye to their child this way. In the meantime, she told us wants to remember her daughter for the beautiful person she was.
"I want to honor her and she would want this,” said Emel Safoglu. “She loved the attention. She was a singer, she was in orchestra, she played the violin. She loved to perform. This is her final performance."
Reyhan’s family is preparing her body for a proper burial and will celebrate her life this weekend.
Because of this tragedy, Fairfax County police are also warning people about the dangers of hanging out near railroad tracks. We are told they are working with Virginia Railway Express to make sure people are aware of these life-threatening risks. In this case, they said you never know how fast the train is coming until it is too late.