A sleepover turned deadly when a 13-year-old Texas girl was fatally struck by a train after she and her friend snuck out to explore the nearby railroad tracks, authorities said.
Tanley Yacos and another 13-year-old girl were staying at her home in Buda when they decided to sneak out early Saturday, making their way to the train tracks, where they started walking south, officials said.
An engineer was driving a train traveling toward the girls when he noticed them on the tracks between the South Loop 4 and Houston Street railroad crossings, but it was too late and Yacos was hit.
She was pronounced dead at the scene about 1:50 a.m., officials said.
The other girl was not hurt, authorities said.
A spokesman for Buda told reporters the city is looking at video from the train to determine what happened before Yacos was hit.
The train was reportedly traveling 47 miles per hour at the time, while the speed limit for trains in the area is 60 miles per hour.
The train’s horn was blowing at the time since the area is not a quiet zone, the spokesman said.
Hays County Justice of the Peace Scott Cary has ordered an autopsy and toxicology tests to be performed on Yacos. They are expected to take up to four weeks to complete.
Officials said they are not ruling anything “anything out on why (the incident) happened or how it happened,” the Hays Free Press wrote.
Mourning friends and family created a makeshift memorial near the scene of the teen’s death to commemorate her life, leaving behind flowers, candles and rocks that spelled out her name.
Other stunned loved ones took to social media to express their sorrow at the unexpected tragedy.
“She may have been my step sister but she will always be my baby sister,” Madison Simpson wrote on a GoFundMe page created to offset funeral costs.
Yacos leaves behind eight brothers and sisters, according to reports.
“Rest in Peace sweet Tanley girl. Your bright smile and silly laugh will be missed,” another friend wrote about the Dahlstrom Middle School eighth-grader.
Grieving parents and students were encouraged to visit counselors at the school, who were made available on Monday, Principal Rob Trevino said.
“Tanley was a remarkable young lady and an asset to our district,” Trevino said in a statement. “We are all mourning her passing.”