WORCESTER - A 14-year-old city girl whose leg was severed at the knee when she apparently tried to hop a train behind Stafford Street was in serious condition yesterday at UMass Memorial Medical Center - University Campus, according to hospital officials.
Jackee Banfill of 11 Falcon St. was severely injured on the train tracks about 8:40 p.m. Wednesday.
Police were called to the railroad tracks behind 220 Stafford St. on a report of a person being hit by a train. They began checking therailroad tracks from the James Street bridge and headed toward the Leicester town line. They found a 14-year-old city girl, who told themher friend was badly injured. Police found Jackee farther up the tracks.
A good Samaritan had removed his shirt to use as a tourniquet and was treating the injured teenager, who was conscious and alert.
Police said preliminary reports show the two girls were on the tracks when a train began to move slowly west. "It appears that the girls attempted to hop onto the train, but the victim slipped as the train jolted forward," police said in a news release. "As a result of the sudden movement, the victim's leg fell under the train wheel."
Detectives were investigating the incident. The girl who was with Jackee at the time of the accident did not want to speak to a reporter yesterday.
A spokesman for CSX said Wednesday that the railroad had two freight trains in the area that night. Service on the tracks was suspended while police investigated. The area is marked "no trespassing," but paths have been worn around the tracks from people walking there. Police spokesman Sgt. Kerry F. Hazelhurst said there is easy access to the area and people are known to trespass there, mainly using itas a shortcut, not as a hangout.
Fire Capt. William P. Metterville said yesterday that dealing withaccidents involving pedestrians on the rails lines is stressful for emergency personnel. "Whenever the Fire Department responds to a call about someone being hit by a train, it is usually a devastating outcome," Capt. Metterville said. "We hope the victim is able to recover from this incident."
It is easy to be deceived about how fast a train is moving, and people must stay off railroad tracks, he said. "It is very stressful for first responders who worked on a victim of this type, knowing that it was preventable," he said.
Attempts to reach the girl's family were unsuccessful yesterday.