Bowie Girl Mary Gaffney Struck and Killed By a Freight Train
A teenager from Bowie was struck and killed by a freight train she never saw or heard coming, police said.
Mary Gaffney was walking along the tracks near Lafayette Avenue and Queensbury Road in Riverdale, Md., when she was hit from behind. She was going to see her boyfriend and decided to take a shortcut.
Just before midnight Wednesday, the 17-year-old was walking down the center of the northbound tracks when the train came along at about 35 mph.
The engineer told police he made numerous attempts to warn her, but she was wearing head phones and didn’t hear the train approach her from behind. At that speed, it would take about the length of eight football fields to come to a stop.
Walter Gaffney said that from the time his daughter was a baby, he knew there was something special about her.
“When she was about 1-2 years old they called her China doll because of her looks, and she actually almost became the Huggies diaper baby,” Gaffney said.
As she grew older she developed many talents and talked about going to college to become a mechanical engineer and design motorcycles.
“She was a beautiful girl,” her father said. “A very talented singer, very talented artist. Extremely smart.”