Jenna Betti, 14, Killed by Train While Retrieving Phone From Tracks

Wednesday, 05 Mar 2014 01:06 PM

By Alexandra Ward

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Jenna Betti, a 14-year-old California girl, was struck and killed by a freight train over the weekend as she was trying to retrieve her cell phone from the tracks.

Police told the San Francisco Chronicle that Jenna and her boyfriend were hanging out near the train tracks in Martinez, Calif., on Sunday as a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway freight train approached.

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The teenagers quickly cleared the tracks but Jenna reportedly dropped her phone in the process and tried to grab it before the train passed.

"Today my beautiful daughter kissed us goodbye," Dena Betti, Jenna's mother, wrote on Facebook Sunday night, according to the Martinez News-Gazette. "She was tragically killed today by a train. She was sitting on the train tracks with her boyfriend ... Why they made such a horrible decision we’ll never know. The horn blew to alert them. He jumped south side and she cleared north side. She dropped her phone and went back to retrieve it. She didn’t judge the approach, and the train creates a vacuum, we were told, and it sucks you in. We are beyond devastated."

Jenna was an eighth-grader at Martinez Junior High School and teachers described her as a smart, bright girl.

"She was always laughing. If you would see her at the lunch table, sitting with her friends, she's laughing and smiling," Principal Jonathan Eagan told the Chronicle. "In class, she was a good student, but she also had a smile and was kind of the life of the party, in a very positive way, and she was also a phenomenal athlete."

Martinez Junior High has arranged grief counseling for students affected by Jenna's death.

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