Updated: 5:22 p.m. Monday, April 26, 2004 | Posted: 6:05 a.m. Monday, April 26, 2004

Teenager Fatally Struck By Amtrak Train In Seattle



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SEATTLE —

A teenager walking with a group on railroad tracks in Golden Gardens Park was fatally struck by an Amtrak passenger train, police said.

Video: Teen Hit And Killed By Train

Three young men and another young woman leaped to safety but Kali Fuda, 18, from Mountlake Terrace was struck by the train and pronounced dead at the scene Sunday.

Fuda was a senior at Mount Lake Terrace High School.

The train, bound from Seattle to Bellingham, was going about 35 mph through the north end park and the engineer sounded the horn shortly before the accident around 5:50 p.m., police officer Sean Whitcomb said.

The train speed limit in the area is 50 mph.

Whitcomb said the five teens, all 18 and 19, apparently were walking northward on the tracks that carry southbound trains, then stepped onto the northbound tracks when they encountered a parked freight train along the shoreline of Puget Sound.

Coming around a blind curve from behind the group, the engineer could not stop in time, said Gus Melonas, a spokesman for the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railroad, which operates the rail line.

"The train crew did blow its whistle," Melonas said. "It's an unfortunate situation for everyone involved."

Train traffic in both directions was halted after the accident. The Amtrak train resumed its northward trip shortly after 8 p.m.

The woman was the 83rd person to die in Washington state while trespassing on railroad tracks in the past five years, Melonas said. She was also the seventh fatality since 1990 on the mile of track extending through Golden Gardens Park and to the north.

"At no point in time is it a good idea to be on railroad tracks. These kinds of tragedies are always preventable and always heartbreaking," Whitcomb said, "so please stay off the tracks."

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