'Adventurous' 1-Year-Old Dies After Being Struck by Train on Railroad Tracks: 'Our Little Girl'

Officials say the child "was stationary" when she was hit by the train, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol

gofundme Harper
gofundme Harper

A 1-year-old girl died in Missouri after she was hit by a train over the weekend, according to authorities.

Officials said the child "was stationary" on the railroad tracks when she was hit by the train in Hardin just after 8:45 a.m. local time on Saturday, according to a crash report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP).

In an interview with CBS affiliate KCTV, the girl was identified by parents Daylea and Hunter, who declined to use their last names, as their daughter Harper. They told the outlet she was just weeks away from her 2nd birthday.

"Harper was very adventurous," Daylea told the outlet of the child, whom she remembered as being a "happy baby."

"Our little girl is up there smiling at us," added Hunter.

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In a post shared on Saturday, the Ray County Sheriff's Office referred to what happened as a "tragic event."

"At this time we will not be making any statements. We ask you [to] pray for all affected by today's event and respect their privacy," they wrote. In a comment, Sheriff Scott Childers added that he is "struggling with the situation" himself and "can't imagine the trauma the family is going through."

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Childers was among the first responders who arrived at the scene, according to KCTV.

"We live in an age where everybody wants to know everything," Childers told the outlet. "But sometimes accidents happen, incidents happen and we have to respect people's privacy."

Daylea told the outlet she's been praying for the train operator and doesn't "blame anyone."

An investigation into the incident is ongoing, according to the MSHP.

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A memorial has been started for Harper near the tracks where she died, according to KCTV.

In another show of support, as of Tuesday more than $18,000 has been raised for the family via GoFundMe. "Anything will help and prayers are welcome," a loved one wrote on the page.

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