Aunt of teen struck by train in 2002 seeks preventative action
Posted at: 01/31/2013 9:37 PM
Updated at: 02/01/2013 11:28 AM
By: Jill Galus, KOB Eyewitness News 4
A day after a Bernalillo teenager died after being hit by a train, people there are calling for drastic action to keep it from happening again.
The aunt of a 14-year-old who was also killed by a train in the same spot back in 2002 said she has been trying to get something done for a decade but no one who can help will listen.
Monday's crime scene along the railroad tracks was a frightening flashback for Lori Rivera.
A train hit and killed her nephew, Rudy Gonzales, along the same tracks more than a decade ago.
"If they would have done and tried to make this place safer this kid would still be here, it's sad," Rivera said.
Rivera showed KOB Eyewitness News 4 all the paperwork from when she petitioned Bernalillo Town Council to build a catwalk so kids could safely cross the tracks to and from school - something students in the area do regularly. Rivera still has the list of names from those who supported her request.
"I got a lot of people wanting to do it and were willing to help do it but it was the council, it was up to the council," Rivera said.
"That's the call for action for us to move forward, plain and simple," Bernalillo Mayor Jack Torres said, adding, he already is moving forward, toward change.
Torres spent the day on the phone, contacting all the major partners involved with the railroad.
Since he was not in charge back in 2002, he said he cannot speculate why action was not taken right then.
"I just can't speak to what should have been done or what could have been done, and what efforts might have been made ten years ago, but I can speak to what we're doing," Torres said. "We hopefully will not have another tragedy."
As of Thursday evening, Torres said he is still waiting to hear back from Amtrak. Once he does, however, he plans to get everyone together, review the harsh facts and figure out how to incorporate effective safety measures that have worked in other communities in Bernalillo.