Mother makes plea after daughter killed by train

A high school senior lost her life because she was distracted by her cellphone and her grieving mother has a message.

A train quickly sped by and 18-year-old Brittney Silva did not get out of the way. The accident happened next to her home in San Leandro on Hesperian Boulevard and Springlake Drive.

Witnesses say she had earbuds on and when they yelled out a warning, there was no reaction. She couldn't hear it.

Brittney's mother, Cynthia Silva, said, "I need her to come back and I need these youngsters to take their headphones out of their dang ears. She was listening to music. She had both of her headphones in and she was texting."

Cynthia showed us what she thinks happened to her daughter Brittney as the teen walked across the train tracks near their San Leandro home just before 6 p.m. Monday night.

"And she's looking down like this and you can't see the arms come down behind her. And the arms came down behind her, she had her headphones in and she couldn't hear the train coming," said Cynthia.

Brittney died instantly when an Amtrak train hit her at a high speed on at the intersection of Hesperian Boulevard and Springlake Drive, just a few yards from her family's apartment. Because of the earbuds, Brittney didn't hear a witness yell for her to get out of the way.

Cynthia made a public plea to other young people, "I will tell all of the other youngsters out there. When you're walking down the street, and you've got your headphones on, keep one headphone in and one out so you can hear the world around you."

Brittney was a senior at San Leandro High school, all set to go to the prom this weekend and graduate in June.

"She was just always so nice and complimenting people all the people all the time. She's so outgoing and loving. This is such a tragic thing to happen for someone who is so special," said Lilian McLean, a friend.

At San Leandro High, students signed a big sheet of paper with their condolences to Brittney's family, including her mother and 11-year-old sister.

"Everyone loved her, everyone knew her, she would always dance and she would always give me great advice about life," said Melody Silva, Brittney's sister.

A memorial fund has been set up for the Silva family at the local Chase Bank. A candlelight vigil will be held at San Leandro High at 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Related Topics:
amtrakaccidenttrain safetytrainscellphone distractionscellphoneSan Leandro
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