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Vigil for Jenna Betti: Mom shares why 14-year-old got sucked under freight train

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A vigil for Jenna Betti, who was killed on Sunday afternoon trying to save her cell phone from an oncoming freight train, was held on Tuesday. Nearly 1,000 friends, classmates, teachers and neighbors attended Jenna Betti’s vigil lighting candles and sharing stories about the 14-year-old girl whose tragic death has touched so many. According to a March 4, 2014, San Francisco Chronicle report, Jenna was sitting with her boyfriend on the train tracks in Martinez, Calif., when they heard an oncoming freight train blowing its whistles.

The two jumped out of the way when they heard the train, but when Jenna Betti dropped her cell phone, she went back to retrieve it – and she got sucked under the freight train.

After her daughter’s tragic death, Jenna’s mother, Denna Betti, wrote a message to her daughter’s friends on Facebook.

"She didn't judge the approach, and the train creates a vacuum, we were told, and it sucks you in. We are beyond devastated. Thank you for all your love, support and prayers during this very difficult time."

The three crew members on board the eastbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway freight train report that they saw the two young people on the tracks and that they witnessed how both of them got off the track. To them, it was inconceivable as to why one of the two young people jumped right back into the path of the train.

During Jenna Betti’s vigil on Tuesday, friends described the 14-year-old girls as a happy girl, “laughing and smiling,” and always being there for anyone that needed her. One of Jenna’s friends asked the question that is in many people’s hearts, “Why did this have to happen? And why to Jenna? Why did she have to leave us?"

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