SCOTIA, N.Y. -- Neighbors say they often see children crossing at paths along the train tracks much like the one that was the scene of a 16-year-old girl's death Tuesday.
"People walk their dogs, people ride bikes, four-wheelers, dirt bikes, they cross over [the tracks]," Justin Allende said. "It's a notorious spot for people to be."
Despite trains rolling by at up to 100 mph, Allende said the man-made dirt path cuts a trip from Scotia to Glenville down from half an hour to five minutes. It's a path some of his friends have taken several times -- and a path he thought one of his friends took Tuesday afternoon.
"I got a phone call from my brother-in-law, saying that it could have possibly been someone I knew that got hit by a train," he said.
But it wasn't Justin's friend who was struck and killed. According to police, it was a 16-year-old girl from Glenville. They say she was with two other people who weren't injured when the train from Niagara Falls to New York City hit her.
It's an accident from which Julia Kristel and her 11-year-old daughter were just steps away. They recall hearing a loud screeching that they've never heard in all their years living alongside the track.
"I'm getting the chills again. I'm thinking of her," Kristel said, mentioning her daughter. "She's only 11 years old. What if she was on the tracks?"
Police arrested people just last week for being on the track. They say although people know it's illegal, they still take the risk and cross.
Police have not released the young victim's name at this point; the investigation is being handled by Amtrak police. TWC News will bring you any more information as it becomes available.