When 11-year-old Yazmin White left Carmelita’s Food Mart Wednesday, she decided to cross the railroad tracks about 150 yards east back to her Haines City home.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office said it looks like she was wearing her headphones, which might be why Yazmin was still on the tracks when a two-engine Amtrak train with 12 passenger cars killed her around 4:45 p.m. Wednesday afternoon.
The locomotive engineer, who won’t face charges, said the train had been moving at 68 mph when he spotted Yazmin crossing the tracks.
“The (locomotive engineer) told detectives he blew the horn repeatedly while also applying the brakes,” the sheriff’s office said. “Yazmin White did not make any indication that she was aware the train was approaching her. He told detectives she was looking down at her phone while walking. Evidence indicates White was wearing headphones at the time of the accident.”
Yazmin was a piano student at the Davenport School of the Arts.
“We are absolutely heartbroken over the loss of 11 yr old Yazmin White , who was fatally struck by a train in Haines City yesterday,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. “This is a tragedy no parent or family should ever have to go through. Please keep them in your prayers.”