Martinez mourns teenage girl hit, killed by freight train

Friends and family stopped by a growing memorial for a teenage girl who was fatally struck by a freight train in Martinez on Sunday.
March 3, 2014 5:54:10 PM PST
The city of Martinez is mourning the tragic loss of a popular 8th grade student from Martinez Junior High School.

Jenna Betti, 14, was struck and killed by an eastbound freight train traveling through Martinez Sunday evening. Investigators say she was hit by the train after she ran back onto the tracks to pick up the cellphone she had dropped.

Emergency crews received a report that a person had been struck by a train on the railroad tracks near Old Orchard and Howe roads at about 5 p.m.

Friends and family are still dealing with the shocking loss of Jenna.

"I'm here to support the family. It meant a lot to be able to come out and pay our respects of sorts," family friend Kelly Shelton said.

"She's a happy girl, that's all, she don't deserve this," one woman said.

On Monday, an endless stream of friends and family returned to the spot where Jenna was killed. Some even walked along the same stretch of tracks to leave flowers at a growing memorial. Police are keeping a close eye on the area to make sure no one else is hurt trespassing on the property.

News of the popular 8th grader's death spread quickly. It inspired classmates to wear pink, her favorite color, to school on Monday.

"In every class that she was in, there was a box that you could write letters or notes to her and it was sitting at her desk," classmate Kiersten Doolin said.

School administrators called in grief counselors to console students hoping professional therapists could help the teenagers deal with the loss of Jenna.

The incident remains under investigation by the freight railroad company, BNSF Railway.


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