MARYSVILLE, Calif. (AP) — A Northern California teenager remained in critical condition on Sunday after she was struck by a freight train while walking to a school dance with her boyfriend, who was killed in the accident.
Gary Zavoral, a spokesman for Sutter Roseville Medical Center, confirmed 16-year-old Mickayla Friend's condition.
The accident Friday evening occurred near Marysville's only high school and a little league park where a game was being played.
Investigators told KCRA-TV that the teens were walking south on the tracks — the same direction as the Union Pacific train. They were scheduled to attend a Sadie Hawkins Day dance.
The boy died at the scene, and Mickayla was airlifted to the hospital.
Marysville Police Chief David Baker says investigators are looking into whether the pair got distracted by headphones or something else when the accident occurred.
The conductor sounded the horn and tried to stop, but it typically takes more than a mile to come to a halt, Union Pacific said in statement that called the two teens "trespassers."
"Our hearts go out to the friends and family of the two individuals involved in the accident," the statement said. "It is a stark reminder that railroad tracks are never a safe place to be."
Sandy Friend, Mickayla's mother, told KTXL-TV in Sacramento that she believes her daughter's boyfriend saved her life.
"She had the love of a young man. He just sacrificed himself to save my daughter," she said.
While the small Northern California town mourned, baseball games at the little league park resumed Sunday.
The game started with a moment of silence for the victims.