5-year-old girl remains hospitalized weeks after being struck by DART train
PLANO, Texas - A 5-year-old is in the hospital nearly two weeks after being hit by a DART train.
The girl was hit as she and her family were on their way to the State Fair of Texas.
FOX 4 obtained the harrowing video of what happened through an open records request.
The video serves as an important reminder of how quickly a tragedy can happen around train track crossings.
It happened at the Parker Road Station in Plano.
Unlike at intersections with cars that have crossing arms, DART pedestrian train crossings don't have physical barriers to stop people from crossing.
The video shows a mother with her two daughters just after they purchased tickets for the southbound Orange Line back on October 13.
The kids were excited for their trip to the State Fair of Texas.
Together, with their mother, they approached the northbound track to cross.
The 5-year-old girl stepped out in front of the train.
The train operator blasted the horn, but it was too late.
Somehow, the little girl survived.
According to DART, her injuries were non-life threatening, but DART's spokesman said she is still recovering in the hospital nearly two weeks after being hit.
"As the operator was going northbound, they actually used their horns twice, as they should," DART spokesman Gordon Shattles said.
In the view from the driver's perspective, two horn blasts can be heard as the train goes across Park Boulevard.
Just 17 seconds later, another blast is heard just as the child enters the crossing, only seconds before impact.
Video shows the driver reacting and sounding the horn when she sees the child.
Shattles said the operator did what she was supposed to do.
"As soon as the operator saw the child entering the crossing, they were able to apply breaks and use the horn as well. Unfortunately, as close as the person was, they were not able to stop," he explained.
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Shattles said the train was already slowing down because Parker is the end of the line.
"Very fortunate this station is the end of the line, and the train slowed down quite a bit, which was helpful in this situation," he added.
That, along with the child's small size, may be what saved her life.
Fortunately, she was in the center of the track at the time of impact, apparently allowing her to go beneath the train carriage as her mother frantically searched to find her.
Shattles said DART is continuing its investigation.
"Any time we have an incident like this, we want to look at every possibility to go far and above, and make sure we see if there is anything more we can do, working with our safety department, our police department. Everyone to ensure this is as safe as possible," he said.
DART just reopened the northbound tracks late Wednesday afternoon, nearly two weeks after the child was hit.
Shattles said they will leave a new safety stop in place as a precaution while the investigation continues.