HAINES CITY, Fla. -- An 11-year-old girl was killed Wednesday when she was struck by a train while walking with her cell phone, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said.
The Amtrak train struck Yazmin White of Haines City about 4:50 p.m. at the intersection of Highway 1792 and Bates Road. She died at the scene.
According to deputies, Yazmin was leaving Carmelita's restaurant at 2670 Hwy 1792 in Haines City, walking through the woods, and attempted to cross the railroad tracks.
The train's conductor told deputies he blew the train's whistle repeatedly while applying the brakes, but the girl did not appear to hear it. He said the girl was looking down at her phone.
"We are absolutely heartbroken over the loss of 11 yr old Yazmin White , who was fatally struck by a train in Haines City yesterday. This is a tragedy no parent or family should ever have to go through. Please keep them in your prayers." -Sheriff Judd— Polk County Sheriff (@PolkCoSheriff) January 4, 2018
Deputies said Yazmin apparently was wearing headphones at the time.
There are no charges pending, deputies said.
Polk County Schools Superintendent Jacqueline Byrd said Yazmin loved school and she was dedicated to her studies. She was a piano major and had a natural talent for music, officials said.
Grief counseling is available to staff and students affected by Yazmin's death, including her family.
"She's going to be very well missed," Byrd said.
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