(Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania – August 20, 2014)
A 12-year-old middle school girl lost part of her leg and foot Wednesday afternoon at about 2:30 P.M. when she and a 12-year-old male friend took a well-worn path to the tracks of the Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern Railroad along Railroad Street in Mahanoy City, Schuylkill County, PA and she was struck by a RBM&N train that never stopped.
The girl, identified by neighbors as Angelina Kane of the 600 block of Centre Avenue in Mahanoy City, and a student at Mahanoy Area Middle School, was treated by paramedics at the scene, then rushed to a helipad in Shenandoah, and airlifted via MedEvac helicopter to Lehigh Valley Hospital-Cedar Crest’s trauma unit.
Robert Rench, who lives on West Railroad Street, told Frank Andruscavage of the Standard-Speaker that he heard the train passing, as it usually does, and the victim riding her bicycle east in the same direction the train was traveling, observing that “She was riding up the street, just looking at the train.” He then reported seeing Kane and a juvenile boy, abandon their bikes and go toward the railroad tracks using a small path. “Within seconds, she was hit,” he told the news writer. “It happened just like that!”
The victim’s companion identified as Derick Miller, also 12 and of Mahanoy City, told WNEP-TV, Channel 16 Reporter Sarah Buynovsky that “I was on my way to meet her and on my way up, I heard her screaming my name and I went up there and saw her.”
The boy’s reaction to seeing his friend sitting on the tracks with her injured leg was that “I started crying and was really sad,” adding that the train crew never stopped to render aid to the victim.
Mahanoy City Chief of Police John Kaczmarczyk told The Standard-Speaker that it was likely the train’s engineer was unaware the child was hit. He said trains generally run at 10 mph through the area.
“She loves the train,” said Miller’s mother, Amy Richards. “She watches them all the time. I truly don’t know how it feels. I know the little girl, she will be OK, and her parents, just God bless them.”
News media and satellite views of the site of the tragedy show no fencing to keep the public from the railroad tracks. Nancy Burke, who lives in the area of the accident, noted that “Normally, they (the children) just play on the street; there really isn’t a problem with children playing on the tracks.” She continued by pointing out that although children, along with young adults, often walk along the railroad tracks, there is never any trouble.
- The privately-owned Reading, Blue Mountain & Northern, which was recently named the 2014 Award Winner at the annual Manufacturers and Employers Excellence Awards Dinner in Orwigsburg, PA, is headquartered in Port Clinton, PA. The company began business in September, 1983.