FRESNO, CA (KSEE) The mother of an 8-year-old girl who was killed by a train in Fresno, California Monday has been charged with felony child endangerment.
Police say 44-year-old Joy Collins was booked into the Fresno County Jail, but has since bailed out.
“I heard the little girl say mom mom, then I heard the train start up and I told my boyfriend to go help because there was a kid under the train,” said Crista Miller, who lives nearby.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer says Joy Collins was afraid of missing their bus and told her two children to cross the tracks by climbing underneath the train which was stopped.
Her son made it through but 8-year-old Joyanna did not.
“The daughter was reluctant at first but upon being encouraged by the mother to cross the track she too made her way underneath the rail car and attempted to get to the other side,” Dyer said.
Police say the train had only stopped for a period of 12 seconds when it started up again. Joyanna was lodged underneath and said the train dragged the 8-year-old for about 500 feet.
“The mother did run as it proceed southbound and at one point the train did stop again and she was able to pull her daughter out,” he said.
Police say after speaking with Collins they learned this wasn’t the first time she and her children had crossed over the train tracks.
“We arrested the mother for child endangerment but also we know that she is hurting,” Dyer said.
Dyer says Collins has had prior contact with Child Protective Services in the past, though they did not go into why.
Police say due to this incident, Collins’ 9-year-old son is currently with CPS.
Residents that live around the area who knew Collins and her children say she wasn’t a bad mother. They say she had been working to pay for a trip to take her kids to LegoLand for Christmas.