According to a LaPorte Police Department news release, a witness about 200 yards away saw Cherie A. Cavinder walking alone next to the railroad, walk out on the tracks and then sit down facing west toward the eastbound train. The witness could hear a train in the immediate area and then saw Cavinder struck. The witness said the train was blowing its horn as it approached.
At 11:36 a.m., LaPorte Police Department officers responded to the tragedy at the Norfolk Southern railroad tracks just east of Pulaski Street and found Cavinder dead.
Norfolk Southern crew members confirmed what the witness stated. The crew applied full emergency brakes but was unable to stop until some distance after striking Cavinder. The train, which consisted of two locomotives and 70 unloaded cars and was about 7,000 feet long, was traveling about 38 mph at the time.
A notebook was found in the woman’s vehicle, in which she apologized for her actions and said good-bye to family members.
"The LaPorte Police Department has no comment to make on this incident other than to observe that it was a very tragic and regrettable situation," the release said.
"Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family members and friends of Cherie Cavinder."