Bellingham student’s death on train trestle was likely accidental, police say

A Bellingham high school student died in a horrific accident by a freight train Tuesday evening, apparently near a trestle in Little Squalicum Park.

According to the investigations, 15-year-old Lucy Guerra and a friend were walking on a railroad trestle above Squalicum Beach. At that time, Guerra was hit by a BNSF freight train at about 5:10 pm on Tuesday.

Police are considering the student’s death an accident and not suicide or any other cause. Lt. Chad Cristelli of the Bellingham Police Department said, ”The initial investigation is looking like it was a tragic accident. We don’t suspect foul play and we don’t believe it was intentional.”

Lucy’s friend survived, but the incident was indicative of the dangers around railroad tracks, according to the police department officials.

Whatcom County medical examiner confirmed Lucy Guerra’s death as an accident, said Deborah Hollis, the chief investigator. Lt. Claudia Murphy mentioned that the duo might not have heard the train engineer sound the horn. Murphy added, ”There is a slight curve in the tracks approaching the trestle, likely making it difficult to hear the approaching train”

According to Google Earth measurements, the trestle spans Little Squalicum Creek near Squalicum Beach with a length of about 550 feet.

A police officer and firefighters found the injured girl but were unable to revive her. Cristelli said that the medicos were first on the scene and attempted life-saving efforts. The Police detectives and officers interviewed witnesses. Support officers arrived to comfort the girl’s friend and counsel the police officer and firefighters who tried to save the girl.

Bellingham student death by an accident on the train trestle

Lucy was a multi-talented girl who was fond of many hobbies like dance, and the piano. Also, she played tennis and other games. Family friend Aaron Booker told that Lucy Guerra ”was a light that shone brightly.”

Booker added,” There are no words for the unimaginable grief that all of us are feeling with this profound loss to our community and to Lucy’s family.”

Marty Atkins, Bellingham High Principal sent an email to students and their families on Wednesday expressing ”deep sorrow” over the accident. She shared, ”Lucy made a positive impact on our school and in our community in a number of ways. She will be missed.”

Spokesperson Dana Smith told that the school district officials provided counseling for students, staff, and the girl’s family.

When questions regarding the train’s length, cargo, destination, and number of locomotives were asked by a BNSF Railway official, he didn’t respond. However, he confirmed the tragic incident in an email.

Further investigations are in process. Our prayers and thoughts are with the victim’s family and friends.

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