CLIFTON, Va. - A 13-year-old girl was fatally struck by a Virginia Railway Express train at Bull Run Bridge near Clifton on Wednesday, according to police.
Fairfax County police say the teenage girl was hiking with two other family members, her 13-year-old cousin and her 22-year-old brother. The two teenagers were walking on the bridge at around 3 p.m. when the VRE train approached. The boy was able to get out of the way, but the girl was unable to get off the tracks and was hit by the train. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
The victim was a student at Lake Braddock Secondary School in Burke, police say.
Bull Run is a tributary that feeds into the Occoquan River. The area backs up to a golf course.
“There are a lot of people at summertime that like to go walking and everything and that is just a place where a lot of teenagers go to have fun,” said one teenager.
A source told FOX 5’s Lauren DeMarco that the girl's 22-year-old brother ran to her and her 13-year-old cousin as the train was approaching. The brother and the cousin were able to jump across the large gap to the opposite tracks.
However, it's a long way down to the water below and the 13-year-old girl was too scared to jump and she started running instead. The train operator saw her and slowed but there wasn't enough time and she was struck.
The source also said the girl's brother dragged her back down towards the water trying to get her to his car. VRE workers ran from the then-stopped train with their medical equipment and tried to perform CPR on her, but she did not survive.
The train was traveling north from Manassas to Washington D.C. to Union Station. Both sides of the tracks were shut down for several hours while a crash reconstruction team investigated, causing major delays on VRE’s Manassas line. The people on the train had to offload at the Burke station and get onto buses.