17-year-old girl dies after getting struck by BNSF Railway freight train

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ARLINGTON, Washington — The 17-year-old killed by a freight train near Arlington over the weekend was a high school student athlete who had signed on to compete in track and cross country at the University of British Columbia next year.

Kristi Bartz, a student at Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett, placed second in the 800 at last year's Class 2A state track meet, finishing fractions of a second behind the winner, the Daily Herald reported (http://is.gd/h0TFTM).

"Kristi is a hard worker, a driven athlete and as competitive as they come," Archbishop track coach Paul Turner said before her death.

At her last track meet, on Thursday, Bartz won the 1,600-meter run in a time of 5 minutes, 18.82 seconds. She was also a member of the 1,600-meter relay team, which won that race.

The Snohomish County Sheriff's Office said Saturday that Bartz was with two other teens at a popular swimming spot near the railroad tracks in the unincorporated area of Silvana when a train approached around 3 p.m.

She and the two others were on a trestle over the Stillaguamish River.

A boy from Everett jumped into the water before the train arrived. Bartz and another girl, were on the trestle and tried to get off the bridge before it arrived.

The train blew its horn and applied the emergency brake. The other girl was able to get to the side of the trestle as the train passed. Sheriff's Lt. Todd Swenson said she was not injured.

Bartz could not get out of the way and was struck by the train, which was moving at about 40 mph.

The train was en route to Vancouver, British Columbia, from Portland. After Bartz was struck, the tracks were shut down until BNSF could confirm the safety of the bridge.

Bartz in March was named as one of the Herald's of Five Athletes to Watch for the 2015 high school track and field season.

Bartz also was part of the 2014 All-Cascade Conference girls soccer team. She was a midfielder.

"Our school is grieving at this time," school spokeswoman Shannon McCann wrote in an email. "Please keep our school in your prayers. "


Information from: The Daily Herald, http://www.heraldnet.com

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