A 13-year-old local girl was hit and killed by a train. And several young kids, just feet away, saw the whole thing. It happened in Riviera Beach near West 27th and Old Dixie Highway Thursday.
For some the pain was just overwhelming. "I just seen her this [Thursday] afternoon when she got out of school. Lord have mercy, my baby, my baby [is] gone," cries the girl's aunt.
Family members sobbed uncontrollably. Friends were absolutely stunned. The girl was walking along the tracks in Riviera Beach when she was hit and killed by a train.
"Now, its my niece. I'm just so tired of this. I don't know what to do Lord... I can't take it no more."
Valencia Nelson was with other kids near 27th Street and Old Dixie Highway around 6 p.m. Thursday evening. Police believe the Kennedy Middle School student was trying to see someone across the tracks or make her way there when she was hit.
Ambulances were called out to take away witnesses and friends. Some even collapsed with grief upon hearing the news.
As police try to piece this all together, they say, they know one thing: This appears to be an accident.
"It's a nightmare. It's hard, I mean, I'm fighting it. I'm with Mothers against Murderers. I mean, it's very hard," says Valencia's stepmother Sharon Engram.
"I just went cross the tracks and seen the same train coming down, but I had no idea it was her," sobs her aunt.
Police believe Nelson was on one side of the tracks trying to see someone or something on the other side of the train when she was hit. They are still trying to track down witnesses. If you saw anything, call Riviera Beach Police.
This same family experienced a tragedy just three years ago. In July 2004, Valencia's father Vincent Nelson was shot and killed in Riviera Beach. It happened near Lakeshore Drive and Blue Heron Boulevard. Investigators thought the shooter may have killed Nelson for his car, but his killer ended up ditching it. Nelson's family says his murder is still unsolved.