Community calls for extra safety precautions near train tracks after 8-year-old is killed

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- A candlelit memorial, sitting along the railroad tracks at Diana and Belmont Avenues shines a light on a life taken too soon.

"It didn't have to come to this you know a little kid lost their life," said neighbor Willie Bush.

Community members in the area say they hope the death of 8-year-old Joyanna Harris sparks change.

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"Within the past few years I've had three friends die on these tracks," said neighbor Kristina Soto
Soto says as a mother of three this tragedy hit too close to home. She called 9-1-1 Monday after hearing the commotion.

"I could hear her brother crying really loud it messed me up," Soto said.

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David Hunt's 10-year-old son Andre was one of the children playing on the train and saw Joyanna get lodged under it as she, her brother and mother tried to cross.

"He said the train was making a noise like it was going to move, so they got off the train," Hunt said.
Hunt says he's discussed the dangers of train tracks and that his son should've known better, but that this traumatizing experience serves as a reminder to parents that you can't have that conversation enough.

"He said dad that was supposed to me. It could've been me. One wrong step and it could've been him," Hunt said.

BNSF Railway has several "no trespassing" warnings along the tracks and near major intersections, but community members are hopeful extra safety precautions can be taken.

Fresno Police have arrested Joyanna's mother, 44-year-old Joy Collins for two counts of Felony Child endangerment and two trespassing misdemeanors.

"It's a horrible tragedy, but at the end of the day this was preventable," said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.

Collins posted her bail earlier Tuesday afternoon. Family member tell Action News they have not heard from her.
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