Saturday, January 24, 2009

11-year-old girl loses both legs while playing on train tracks

An 11-year-old Houston-area girl lost one leg and seriously injured the other when she was run over by a train. Doctors said they were unable to save either leg and both had to be amputed.

Giselle Marroquin was playing with some friends on tracks behind their homes in a neighborhood east of Houston late Friday afternoon when a Union Pacific freight train ran over her legs.

Lt. John Legg with the Harris County Sheriff’s Department said a group of five children would stand on the tracks, wait for trains to pass, then grab the side of the train and drag their feet behind them. Legg said the girl slipped and was caught under the train.

"The first thing that goes through your mind is - oh my God," said Vasquez.

Vasquez and several others worked quickly to stop the bleeding. Giselle's left leg was severed, and her other leg was badly mangled. She was taken by helicopter to the Texas Medical Center.
Alex Rodriguez, a spokeswoman for Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center, said Saturday the girl was in critical condition.

Neighbors said that the children were able to get into the railway area through a home without a backyard fence. But they also said that even if the home was fenced in, that may not have prevented this accident.

"Most kids think they are invincible. They don't really realize the dangers that are out there," said Vasquez.

The railroad is conducting an investigation. The speed limit on the track in the area where the accident occurred is 10 mph. Officials said the girl and some of her friends had successfully ridden a train earlier, but on their second attempt, she slipped.