Tiffany Williams, 16, struck and killed by train in Maple Ridge
Teenager was wearing headphones while walking on tracks when struck by CP Rail train Sunday
The family of 16-year-old Tiffany Williams is in mourning after the young woman was struck and killed Sunday afternoon by a freight train on the CP Rail main line near 203 Street in Maple Ridge.
Tiffany's mother, Miranda Phillips, said her daughter was walking on the tracks with her headphones on and didn't see the train coming. She posted a heartfelt message on Facebook Sunday night:
"Please everyone give your kids a hug tonight. You might not get the chance again," wrote Phillips, who also goes by the surname Williams.
"I'm so lost. My daughter today, only 16, walking down the train tracks with her headphones on didn't see it coming. I'm empty inside. I love you, baby girl. Until we meet again."
Miranda Phillips spoke with CBC News on Monday, when she and other family members visited the accident site, leaving photos and flowers on the chain link fence at the edge of the rail property.
Phillips said her daughter was a fun-loving joker — always poking her and giving punch-buggy punches — and had a big circle of friends.
"She had so many friends, so many friends. She was constantly on her phone," Phillips said.
Darrell Phillips, Tiffany's father, said she was a typical 16-year-old. He had a message and request for other kids.
"Take your headphones out of your ears. Don't walk the tracks. Put [only] one headphone in," he said. "My daughter died because of this. So please... you do not want to do this to your parents."
Family friend Sarah Dafoe has, with Phillips's approval, created a fundraising page on gofundme to alleviate the financial stress on the family while it deals with her death.
A trust account has also been set up for the family at Vancouver City Savings Credit Union. Anyone wishing to make a donation can inquire through any of the credit union's branches.
The B.C. Coroners Service confirmed the details of Williams's death Monday afternoon. The service and the RCMP are investigating.
A similar accident took place a year ago in White Rock, when 42-year-old Anita Lewis was struck and killed by an Amtrak train while she was jogging on the track, wearing headphones. Following Lewis's death, Transport Canada asked for a review of rail safety policies in the city.
With files from the CBC's Jesse Johnston