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Amanda Byrne (18) was struck by a train while jogging on the tracks and listening to music
Published: Jul 13, 2012 @ 4:54 PM
Amanda Byrne (18)
Jan 14, 2011
Cause of Death:
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An 18-year-old Pecos High student who was jogging on the Amtrak tracks while listening to a music device died after being struck by a California-bound train with 125 passengers.
The victim was identified as Amanda Byrne of Rowe, according to New Mexico State Police. Byrne was struck near her home after the train engineer made several attempts to alert her with the horn, said Lt. Eric Garcia.
"The investigation has also shown that while Ms. Byrne was jogging on the tracks she was listening to a music device and wearing a headband covering her ears," Garcia said in a news release.
Byrne was on the honor roll at Pecos High School, ran on the cross country team and was active in the Pecos Rodeo, according The New Mexican's archives.
A Pecos High girls basketball team was playing Questa on Friday night when word of the accident spread. The game was postponed, and many girls in the gym came together to mourn, according to coaches.
"It was just very, very hard, for the girls," said coach Benny Gallegos. "They see each other and they are a part of their lives. It's going to devastate the school, the kids and the community."
After hearing the news, the players gathered in the locker room, and then many went to the Byrne home to be with her family.
"She was a good kid, a very smart kid," Gallegos added.
State police officers arrived on the scene in Rowe just after 2 p.m. Garcia said the engineer saw the jogger from a distance and tried to stop. "She was a pretty good distance away, but the size and weight of an Amtrak, they take a ways to stop," Garcia said. The engineer then made an emergency attempt to stop the train before it fatally hit the teen.
"I can't tell you if she jogs there frequently or just this afternoon," Garcia added. "Those horns are loud, the ones I've heard are very loud," said Garcia.
The train was traveling from Chicago to Los Angeles with approximately 125 passengers on board. The train stopped for an hour and a half while the scene was investigated.
The scene is not far from a rural crossing in Rowe where Galen Stoller, 16, was killed when his car was hit by an Amtrak train in December 2007.
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