Family Crimes

8-Year-Old Girl Dies After Mother Allegedly Tells Her To Crawl Under Freight Train In Order To Catch Bus

Joy Harris was scared of crawling under the mile-long freight train, but her mother, Joy Collins, yelled at her to hurry up, according to Fresno Police.

A California mother is under arrest after allegedly making her 8-year-old daughter crawl under a freight train in order to catch a bus. The girl got caught beneath the train when it started moving and died.

Joy Frances Collins, 44, was trying to catch a bus with her two children, 8-year-old Joy Anna Harris and her 9-year-old brother, Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said at a news conference. Crawling under the train, which was a mile-long train according to KSEE in Fresno, was a way to get to the bus stop faster. Dyer said that after Harris’ brother crossed under the train, Harris was scared but her mother yelled for her to hurry up. Then, as the girl was under the train, the train moved forward trapping her under the car.

“That child was pulled or dragged on the railroad for approximately 500 feet,” Dyer said.

Collins ran to try to save her daughter and pulled her body from under the train after it stopped, but it was too late. Not only was she severely injured, she was partially dismembered, Dyer said. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to The Fresno Bee.

Collins asked her children to act in a similar fashion multiple times before, Dyer said.

“No one last night wanted to arrest the mother for this crime,” he said. “But, the law is the law and she placed that child, her child, in grave danger.”

Dyer has been charged on suspicion of child neglect likely to cause great bodily injury or death. It’s not clear if she has a lawyer who can speak on her behalf.

Dyer reiterated that although she's facing charges, he realizes that she is also suffering.

"We know that she is hurting," he said.

[Photo: Fresno Police Department]

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