MARYSVILLE, California (AP) — A Northern California town is reeling after learning that a teenage boy was killed and a teenage girl was seriously injured after they were hit by a freight train while walking to a Sadie Hawkins Day dance.
The accident occurred on Friday evening near Marysville's only high school and a little league park where a game was being played.
Investigators told KCRA-TV the teens were walking southbound on the tracks — the same direction as the train.
Relatives told the station the 16-year-old girl, Mickayla Friend, and her boyfriend had planned to take a short walk to the Dollar Tree store to buy some food before heading to the dance at their school.
"It's her first boyfriend, and her first love," Alithya Friend said.
"And she just got it taken away from her in an instant."
The boy died at the scene, and the girl was airlifted to Sutter Roseville Medical Centre with traumatic injuries, CalFire Capt. Dennis Hunt said.
Friend said her sister remained in critical condition.
People who were at the game said they heard a long blowing of the train's horn, and many raced to the scene as the train came to a stop.
"The engineer was on the horn," witness Sean Stark said.
"Then finally, they both looked back at the same time."
He said the boy made a split second decision.
"They would have both been underneath that train if he didn't push her out of the way at the last second," Stark said.