A teen track star was killed by a freight train Saturday near a popular swimming hole in Silvana, Washington. Krista Bartz, 17, was with two of her friends at the swimming hole near tracks that ran over the Stillaguamish River at Pioneer Hwy and Hevly Road, the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office confirms.
K5 News reports that one of the friends — a boy — jumped from the bridge minutes earlier. His other two friends — both girls walked toward the center of the bridge and heard the train approaching northbound.
One of the teen witnesses — Karlie Jensen — said the train could be heard coming and they were all yelling to the Barz and her friends that a train was on its way and they began running. One of the girls made it to the side, but the other girl didn’t.
Taylor Stockman, another witness, says the sound of their footsteps is still prevalent as they tried escaping the freight train.
The two witnesses discovered on Twitter that the teen killed by the freight train was a student of Archbishop Murphy High School.
“We didn’t know her name until we went to her school last night because I found on Twitter who knew her. I asked if we could come and they said we could,” said Stockman. “Those are the people that knew her and loved her and they didn’t even get to say goodbye.”
Burlington Northern Santa Fe spokesman, Gus Melonas, said this is the ninth death on tracks in Washington this year. He emphasizes that people need to keep off train tracks because it is both illegal and dangerous.
Seattle Times reports that family and friends describe Bartz as a top student and athlete with plans to attend the University of British Columbia in the fall to study literature and English.
Bartz recently broke her high school’s record for the 1-mile run by two seconds, according to the report. She also held the school record for the 800-meter and high jump. The star athlete had been co-captain of her school’s soccer team.
The teen athlete’s death occurred at 3:10 p.m. 20-feet above the swimming hole when the BNSF Railway train showed up. The crew stopped the train with one of its members trying to administer CPR to Bartz.
Kristi Bartz was a well-liked person and always competed with just herself… being the best she could be.
The teen athlete killed by a freight train will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
[Photo via Kristi Bartz/Twitter]