St. Louis woman killed while trying to cross railroad tracks

Saturday, March 14, 2009 | 3:07 p.m. CDT; updated 4:41 p.m. CDT, Saturday, March 14, 2009

HARTFORD — A pregnant St. Louis woman is dead after her truck was struck trying to cross railroad tracks.

Heather Sheree Balven, a 31-year-old geotechnical engineer, was headed to conduct soil tests at a pipeline construction site Thursday morning when she was hit by an eastbound Amtrak train in Hartford, officials say.

Friends in her hometown of Waynesville mourned the death of the former high school senior class president who was pregnant with her second child.

No one on the train was hurt.

The crossing where the accident occurred is marked but has no lights or gates. While one of Balven's co-workers says it's sometimes hard to see approaching trains, Hartford police say they haven't had an accident at the crossing in 25 years.

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