(Manassas, Virginia – January 15, 2014)
A young woman was tragically killed at about 7:00 A.M. Wednesday morning as she crossed Norfolk Southern railroad tracks near one of her workplaces when she was struck by a southbound Virginia Railway Express passenger train at an area just behind the popular Burke Centre shopping area in Manassas, VA.
Heavy fog and early morning darkness, as well as a curve in the NS Railway tracks over which one line of the Northern Virginia Transportation Commission government-entity owned northern Virginia rail commuter service, established in 1992, operates south from the Washington, DC area, kept 22-year-old Danyelle Lynn Anderson from being able to see the approaching train as she crossed at a commonly-used route across the tracks to get to one of her jobs, that as a cashier at the shopping center’s Target store. A line of trees separates the railroad corridor from the Target where the victim worked.
The victim also was employed as a graphic design intern at a local interior design agency.
VRE Spokesman Rich Dalton said that the rail commuter carrier and the freight railroad would be conducting an investigation into the possibility of adding additional fencing to better prevent the public from using the area where the Manassas resident was killed as a common means to cross the tracks. “The fence right behind it (Target) is obviously in some disrepair,” stated the VRE representative, “but a sign posted there by Norfolk Southern, the owner of the railroad, indicates no crossing or trespassing,” he continued. “That’s something we have to look at with Norfolk Southern,” he concluded.
Fairfax County police were investigating the tragedy.