A Northern California town was reeling Saturday after learning that a teenage boy was killed and a teenage girl seriously injured after they were hit by a freight train while walking to a Sadie Hawkins day dance.
The accident Friday evening occurred near the town of Marysville's only high school and a little league park where a game was being played.
Marysville Police Chief David Baker that patrols had been increased around the tracks Saturday.
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"We need to make sure that folks just stay off the easement," Baker told KCRA-TV. "Respect the fact that these trains do come through our city all day long."
The boy died at the scene, and the girl was airlifted to Sutter Roseville Medical Center with traumatic injuries, CalFire Capt. Dennis Hunt said.
The 16-year-old female survivor is in critical condition. Her family said she has serious head and internal injuries.
People who were at the game told the Marysville Appeal-Democrat they heard a long blowing of the train's horn, and many raced to the scene as the train came to a stop.
Diane Washburn of Marysville Little League said she was worried about exposing children to the chaotic scene. "Once they see that, that can't be unseen," she said.
A school board official told the newspaper the victims were heading to a Sadie Hawkins day dance.
"Marysville is a small but busy city," CalFire Marysville Capt. Dennis Hunt said. "Everybody knows everybody, so it was pretty traumatic."
He knew the teenage girl, and said she had a close relationship to the boy, Hunt said.
"She's a sweetheart," he said.
Witnesses said if it wasn't for a split-second decision, both would be dead.
"They would have both been underneath that train if he didn't push her out of the way at the last second," witness Sean Stark said. "You saw him try to save her. Yeah, he pushed her.”
Police are trying to figure out why both teens could not get out of the way. They said the conductor saw the couple and was sounding the train's horn.