Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024, in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

MUKILTEO — As the waterfront has grown busier this summer, a rail line running parallel to Mukilteo Boulevard has become the scene of two tragedies.

Last month, trains struck and killed two people in separate incidents: one in Mukilteo city limits near Edgewater Beach Park, the other near Harborview Park in Everett. Both occurred near a “Quiet Zone,” where trains are restricted from sounding horns while passing through.

“These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett Mayor Cassie Franklin wrote in an email to The Daily Herald. “My heart goes out to the loved ones of both individuals involved in the recent fatal collisions as well as the train crews and passengers.”

Around 6 p.m. June 3, an Amtrak passenger train traveling from Seattle to Chicago struck a 16-year-old girl on the track near Harborview Park, according to Amtrak. The Snohomish County Medical Examiner’s Office identified her as Camryn McKenna. As of Wednesday, an online fundraiser had raised over $15,000 for funeral expenses.

“Camryn just turned 16 in April and was excelling in school and blossoming into an extraordinary young adult,” the fundraiser reads. “She was very artistic, most like her mom, and loved her new kitten.”

McKenna died of blunt force injuries, the medical examiner’s office confirmed.

Law enforcement block off the road where a person was hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

About 2½ miles west, a train struck and killed another pedestrian around 1:45 p.m. June 28 near the Mount Baker Terminal, right at Mukilteo-Everett city limits, police said. The deceased was identified as Maria Dopps, 55, of Everett.

A LinkedIn profile and state directory suggest Dopps was a Spanish language interpreter who served in courthouses.

BNSF was investigating both incidents this week. In both instances, no train passengers and crew were injured.

It was unclear why Dopps and McKenna were on the tracks.

In Dopps’ case, the crossing was equipped with gates, lights and bells, BNSF spokesperson Kendall Sloan said last month. Harborview Park has no designated crossing.

The tracks are private property, so walking on them is considered trespassing. Everett officials did not immediately provide further information about how often police had contacted or cited people for trespassing on the tracks.

Established in 2005, the quiet zone lies at the crossing of the railway and Mount Baker Avenue, The Seattle Times reported at the time. The Port of Everett reportedly paid $600,000 to the Citizens for Quality Mukilteo in a dispute over noise regulations in the zone.

People and cars board and exit the Mukilteo ferry in Mukilteo, Washington on Monday, June 3, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

People and cars board and exit the Mukilteo ferry in Mukilteo, Washington on Monday, June 3, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Under usual regulations, trains are required to sound their horn at least 15 to 20 seconds before approaching a public grade crossing, according to the Federal Railroad Administration.

Horns can still be used in emergencies in places like Mukilteo. Despite this, quiet zones need “significantly more safety requirements” to address the increased risk, BNSF spokesperson Janet Matkin wrote in an email Tuesday.

All railroad tracks in Everett have Positive Train Control that stops speeding trains in an effort to avert collisions, Matkin said. The system, however, is not able to detect people or vehicles.

It takes more than a mile for most trains to stop, according to Amtrak.

Amtrak encourages residents to follow safety precautions near train tracks:

• Only cross railroad tracks at designated crossings;

• Never stand on the tracks;

• Trains are quieter and move faster than you think; and

• Trains overhang tracks, so stay back.

Maya Tizon: 425-339-3434; maya.tizon@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @mayatizon.

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