advertisement

Coroner: Teens killed by train were playing game

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | 11:50 a.m. CDT; updated 1:14 p.m. CDT, Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Union Pacific Railroad Special Agent Steve Ray looks for debris along a rail line just north of Poplar Bluff on Tuesday, after two teenagers were killed and another was injured when their vehicle was struck by an Amtrak train just after midnight. Fifteen-year-old Victoria Swanson and 17-year-old Heather Whitmer, both of Poplar Bluff, were killed. A third girl was airlifted to a Cape Girardeau hospital.

POPLAR BLUFF — Two girls struck and killed by an Amtrak train were playing a deadly game.

The accident happened early Tuesday at a railroad crossing near Poplar Bluff in southeast Missouri. The Missouri State Highway Patrol says the victims were 15-year-old Victoria Swanson and 17-year-old Haley Whitmer, both of Poplar Bluff. A third girl is in serious condition.

Butler County Coroner Jim Akers said the teens were playing a game called "Ghost Train," in which a car is parked on the tracks purportedly awaiting a "ghost train" that wrecked many years ago. Occupants let the windows fog up in the scary setting. If a real train approaches, they drive off.

But Akers said the Jeep wouldn't restart. Relatives told Akers the girls had played the game many times before.


Like what you see here? Become a member.


Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Comments

Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.

advertisements