18-Year-Old Virginia Woman, Erika Dunn, Killed Walking on Train Tracks

An 18-year-old woman died after she was hit by a train in Burke, Virginia, Monday night while walking along the tracks with friends, police said.

Erika Dunn, of Springfield, was walking with two friends on the 9500 block of Burke Road when she was hit by a train about 9:40 p.m., Fairfax County police said Tuesday morning.

"The friends remained on scene. They tried to provide aid to their injured friend," Officer Tawny Wright said.

Dunn, a recent graduate of Lake Braddock Secondary School, was rushed to a hospital, where she died.

Dunn's death appears to be accidental.

Two young adults who knew Dunn said they have walked on the tracks themselves.

"This could have been any kid. This could have been me. It could have been anybody I grew up with," Koko Matali said.

Police and neighbors said they often see young adults and children walking along the tracks. 

"A lot of younger people like to go out on the train tracks, hang out there," Wright said. "I don't think people realize how dangerous it is." 

A 15-year-old girl, Brooke Buesking, was hit by a train and killed in Burke in Oct. 2014, as News4 reported.

Twenty-nine fatal train accidents in Virginia between Jan. 2014 and May 2016 have involved “trespassers” on train tracks, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Modern trains are surprisingly quiet, Federal Railroad Administration data shows. A rail car traveling at 50 mph is about as loud as a car traveling at 70 mph or a person shouting, according to an FRA noise chart.

Trees surrounding railroad tracks can muffle the sound, a director of a school for future train engineers told Popular Mechanics in 2014.

Anyone with information on Dunn's death is asked to call police. 

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