ABC7 News has covered train fatalities at the same railroad crossing before, but this victim lived in a bottom floor apartment across the street. You would think she would be highly aware of the dangers, but even we were surprised at how quickly the train flies through the area. You cannot afford to be distracted.
Brittney Silva, 18, routinely crossed these train tracks, next to her home at Hesperian Boulevard and Springlake Drive. But this time witnesses say the senior at San Leandro High School was distracted.
Witness Cindy Lu says her friend tried to warn her. She said, "He yelled. He screamed so loud, he was nervous, he screamed so loud, but she doesn't hear because she had a phone to her ear."
Cynthia Silva, Brittney's mother, told ABC7 News, "She wanted to be an OBGYN. She wanted to help bring babies into this world." She says her daughter was the strong one in a home where she admits they had challenges. She said the things she would miss most were: "her smile, her hugs, her, the way she used to soothe me when I was upset."
"She turned her grades around and made it possible. She got into UC Santa Cruz and she got into Humboldt, and Cal State East Bay. Just a few years ago that wouldn't have been possible," San Leandro High School assistant principal Elisa Alvarez said.
Just last month, a car crashed into the Silva's apartment, shaving off their balcony.
A few days after that, homeless burn victims from a butane hash oil explosion ran to their home looking for help because the Silvas had helped the homeless before... and now this.