Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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Family Of Woman Struck By Train Ask, Where's The Fence?

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Rochester: Family Of Woman Struck By Train Ask, Where's The Fence?
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Yolanda Hickman has fond thoughts about her mom, Patsy.

"Very real, very raw. She was hilarious, funny."

The thing she remembers most was her smile. Patsy Hickman was legally blind.

"But she was very independent. She did everything by herself. Everything."

That's what makes what happened Sunday afternoon that much harder to take.

"We are tore down. I'm tore down," said Mark Miller, brother.

Hickman was struck by a train and killed. She lived near the tracks, and would occasionally cross them.

"She never goes across by herself. She always asks someone to walk her across, because she can't see and she was afraid of getting hit by a train," Hickman said.

Friends and family who gathered at the site Monday morning question asked why there's no fence along this stretch of CSX-owned tracks.

"I'm not sure if they just don't care if it's the city or the hood or whatever. I'm not sure why they would leave it open," said Hickman.

"Why would they leave this wide open? This is just an accident waiting to happen," said friend Tyree Wormley.

People in the neighborhood say they see it all the time: People crossing the tracks. They say it's an easy shortcut to a store on the other side.

"Y'all done seen ten people go across the track since you've been here," said Miller.

Even children.

"It's what they do every day."

There is a sign near the opening clearly stating trespassers aren't allowed on the tracks. That sign goes largely ignored.

"With or without a sign, people are still going to go with their natural instincts and their own decisions, but if there were a fence, people would be a lot less reluctant to climb a fence to get over there. They'd rather walk around," said Wormley.

It's not the first time someone's been struck and killed in this spot.

"Like, I'm going crazy about my sister, I love her to death. Man, I'm hurt."

Patsy Hickman's family hopes something can be done to keep people off the tracks.

"It happened last night, it'll happen again," Miller said.

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