Railroad News

Norfolk Southern Train Kills Toddler and Injures Baby Sitter on Virtually Inescapable Levee

By December 15, 2016 No Comments

(Zephyrhills, Florida €“ December 12, 2016)

A two-year-old boy died after being struck by a train the group didn€™t see or hear until it was too late. The boy was among a party of four including his four-year-old sister, his baby sitter and an adult friend, who were walking along Norfolk Southern railroad tracks in Zephyrhills, FL, at about 11:55 A.M., EST Monday.

Killed was Hunter Fink, while his baby sitter, Heather Henderson, 26, was hospitalized in stable condition. Henderson was holding Hunter, but couldn€™t get out of the train€™s way. Cody Williams, 27, a friend of the baby sitter, jumped nearly eight feet to a swampy area below the railroad levee, saving the unidentified girl and him from injury.

Zephyrhills Fire Chief Shawn Whited told WTSP that the 133-car freight train was traveling from Tampa, FL to Waycross, GA in 60 mph territory. The train is on an elevated rail with steep gravel 6 to 7 feet down on both sides, giving those who were walking along the tracks few options €“ little time or place to escape the oncoming train.€

Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco informed the news media of Hunter€™s death, saying to, among others, WTSP-TV€™s Eric Glasser, that The little boy didn€™t make it today,€ and asking all to Pray for them.€

The rail line, which has few grade crossings for which the train crew would sound the locomotive€™s horn, travels over a trestle across the Hillsborough River just before the site of the tragedy. No evidence of fencing of the railroad tracks was indicated in satellite or news media photos of the scene, which the Bradenton Herald described as located in a densely wooded area.€