SILVANA – Kristi Bartz, a 17-year-old senior at Archbishop Murphy High School in Everett, was fatally struck by a freight train May 9, the Seattle Times reported.
The teen and two other people were on a trestle about 25 feet above a slough near Burlington, said Gus Melonas, spokesman for BNSF Railway. A northbound train heading to Vancouver was going 43 miles an hour when two women wearing swimming suits were spotted on the trestle. One jumped out of the way and the train struck Bartz, said Melonas. A third person on the trestle, a male, jumped into the water. The location on the Stillaguamish River is a popular swimming site.
Bartz was a standout student and athlete at Archbishop Murphy — she was co-captain of the soccer team and held several school records in track and field — and planned to attend the University of British Columbia in the fall.
“We are devastated with grief and have lost a loving member of our school community,” said Principal Steve Scmutz in a statement. “In our most challenging and sad moments we seek comfort through prayer.”
Schmutz said students had access to “designated support areas staffed by counselors and campus ministers.”
“We will continue our focus on supporting our students impacted by this tragedy while at the same time taking every effort to emphasize the regular rhythm of the school day,” he added.
Reporter Susan Gilmore contributed to this report.