8-year-old fatally struck by a train after mom told her to cross underneath a rail car

Odette Odendaal
Dec 24, 2018
11:08 P.M.

The mother of an 8-year-old girl got arrested after her daughter got dragged under a train for several hundred yards in California.


Following the death of Joy Frances Collins’ daughter, the 44-year-old mother from Fresno got charged with child neglect likely to cause significant bodily injury or death, and trespassing.

On Thursday, December 13, Joy and her two children were on their way to the bus stop around 6 pm when a mile-long train blocked them from crossing, as it slowly came to a halt and stopped.

In a hurry and not wanting to miss the bus, Joy told her children to cross the railroad tracks by crawling through underneath the train.


Her 9-year-old son did as he was told, but her daughter, Joyanna Harris, was reluctant.

Being aware of one’s surroundings can prevent many preventable tragedies from occurring, and when your life or the life of another may be at stake, it sure is worth it.

Read more on our Twitter account @amomama_usa.

After some encouragement from her mother, Joyanna began to crawl through, but suddenly the rain lunged forward.


Little Joyanna got pulled in under the train and dragged as the train clacked over the tracks.

Joy frantically ran next to the train and eventually managed to pull her daughters badly mangled body free from the train.

Fresno Police Chief, Jerry Dyer, said during a press conference:

“A mother placed her daughter in a position where she could be seriously injured or killed, and that’s what we have to look at. We have a responsibility to hold that person accountable. That child was pulled or dragged on the railroad for approximately 500 feet.”


Police Chief Dyer added that the eight-year-old girl was critically injured and partially dismembered and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Joy got booked at Fresno County Jail on Monday night and told the police during an interview that she had done this countless times, not the first time she had sent her children back and forth underneath trains.

At the beginning of the year, another girl got killed by a train, but under very different circumstances, her mother didn’t tell her to cross underneath it.


The 11-year-old from Haines City had her earphones on listening to music. Busy on her phone when she crossed the tracks without noticing the oncoming train.

The conductor did everything in his power to try and warn the girl, including pulling breaks on the train, but she was to close.


Shortly after, the passenger train traveling toward Winter Haven hit Yazmin White at 68 mph, killing her.

On Monday evening, December 17, another tragedy involving a train unfolded when two Chicago policemen gave chase to a suspect after reacting to shots being fired.

Officers Eduardo Marmolejo, 36, and Conrad Gary, 31 followed the suspect as he ran up towards the train tracks at 103rd Street and Cottage Grove Avenue.


The suspect managed to cross ahead of the train, but the officers in pursuit did not and got struck by the eastbound train No.119 at 6:20 pm and pronounced at the scene shortly after.

Being aware of one’s surroundings can prevent many preventable tragedies from occurring, and when your life or the life of another may be at stake, it sure is worth it.

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