A California woman was arrested on felony child neglect charges Tuesday after her 8-year-old daughter was killed by a train near downtown Fresno, KFSN reported.
Joy Frances Collins, 44, had urged her daughter and 9-year-old son to cross the tracks Monday around 6 p.m. because they were trying to catch a bus on the other side, the television station reported.
The girl, Joyanna Harris, was told by her mother to crawl under the idling train to get to the bus, Fresno police Chief Jerry Dyer told the Fresno Bee. Her brother crossed first, but when Joyanna started to cross, the train lurched forward and trapped the child, dragging her several hundred feet, the newspaper reported. She died from traumatic injuries.
"When the train started to take off she got caught on the train and was dragged for about 100 yards," Fresno police Lt. Gerardo Chamalbide told KFSN.
Dyer said Collins told police she had directed her children to cross the track in this fashion on seven other occasions, KFSN reported.
"My head is still spinning trying to grasp what was going on. Other than that, I'm thanking God that my kids all made it home tonight," witness David Hunt told the television station. "What I saw when I walked up there I was not prepared for. There was nothing that could prepare me for what I've seen.”