Jenna Betti, 14, Killed By Train Reaching For Phone

By: Toni Matthews-El - March 4, 2014

“She was always laughing. If you would see her at the lunch table, sitting with her friends, she’s laughing and smiling,” said Jonathan Eagan, the principal at Martinez Junior High School.

He is speaking about Jenna Betti, who was an 8th grade student at the Martinez, Cali. school. The community is still reeling from the death of Betti, who was just 14 years old. She was killed on Sunday at around 5 pm when she was accidentally run over by a train.

Betti and another teen, later identified to be her boyfriend, had been sitting together on the tracks when they observed an eastbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway freight train heading their way.

According to railway spokeswoman Lena Kent, the pair were seen getting off the track by the train’s crew members. Then, suddenly, Betti returned to the train tracks for “some unknown reason”.

What had happened was Betti accidentally dropped her cellphone. She went back onto the tracks to retrieve it, but wasn’t able to get out of the train’s path in time.

Dena Betti, Jenna’s mother, wrote on a friend’s Facebook page that it was likely her daughter “didn’t judge the approach” of the train accurately. Betti assumed she had plenty of time to go back for her dropped phone. Dena Betti said that she was informed that trains tend to create a vacuum that “sucks you in”, making escape impossible after a certain point.

“We are beyond devastated,” said Dena Betti. “Thank you for all your love, support and prayers during this very difficult time.”

Those who knew Jenna feel that she likely ran back for her phone out of fear that she would be scolded for having it run over. It is a heart-breaking scenario where someone so young misjudges the value a parent places on materials when compared to the safety of their child. Jenna had no way of knowing that a cellphone was not worth her life and sadly her family and friends will never be able to tell her.

From this sad situation, a lesson should be learned: Take this opportunity to tell your loved ones that at no point is a cellphone worth their life. A life is irreplaceable; a cellphone is not.

On Monday, classmates wore pink in Jenna Betti’s memory and a vigil is planned for this evening.

Image via YouTube

Toni Matthews-El

About the Author

Toni Matthews-ElToni Matthews-El hails from the land of chunked pumpkins and people who come to a complete stop before making any and every turn. When she isn't contributing articles to WebProNews, she spends her time freelance writing, cheering Liverpool FC, and enjoying life as a hair flower connoisseur. Disclaimer: Written opinions do not necessarily reflect that of WebProNews or its affiliates

View all posts by Toni Matthews-El
  • Fanger

    Well, on the bright side, she won’t get into trouble for ruining her phone. It’s incredible the way we think when we are a teenagers, isn’t it? There but for the grace of God go all of us.

  • Dion

    Too sad to think about. May God comfort her family.

  • SteamingpileofObama

    Good riddance. If you are so god damned stupid that you go back and pick up a silly phone when a train is coming straight at you, you deserve to be taken out of the gene pool. Thankfully you will not be able to pollute the gene pool with your stupid gene.

    • Nick

      Screw you too. Guess you didn’t know her.

    • slainte

      I know you are trolling for reaction, but we all are more intelligent than that. We realize she was 14, and this was a mistake. What puzzles me, is what went wrong in your life that makes you troll for comments about something tragic, just to get a reaction from readers.

    • Mark Fiora

      Go back to bed!

  • Michael Lemen

    How very Horrible, such a sad story . When I see stories like this it’s the parents I think of. Maybe some good will come of this if the other kids learn from it, but the parents will feel the hurt probably forever. Just so Very Sad !

  • Nice Guy

    Sign of the times that the mother was writing something on Facebook about it to a friend. If my child was just killed, the LAST thing in the world I would ever do is post something on Facebook. Loser.

  • JCWS1

    Someone should educate the author of this news piece that principal is correctly spelled with a pal at the end, not ple.

  • kw

    How could one be so dumb? Makes you wonder what a-holes her parents must be if she willing to risk her life to avoid punishment.

  • Robert Moretti

    Very sad story. But this article is so poorly written. Lines like “she went back out of fear she would be scolded” must make her parents feel horible. Makes it sound as if she died out of fear of her parents. And she misjudged “the value a parent places on materials when compared to the safety of their child”. Does this author really think she made a calculation that the phone was worth more than her life? Come on, of course not. She just made a calculation that she could get off the tracks before the train arrived.

    • Ella748

      One will never know what jenna actully thought or what intentions she had, for returning. God, I pray that you may place peace in the families hearts and strengh them in this time of grieve. Rest in peace Jenna, you will forever be in our hearts.