Mother of Buda teen killed by train wants lower speed limits

Buda teen, Tanley Yacos, was hit and killed by a train a year and half ago. Her mother is speaking with FOX 7 about changes she would like to see when it comes to safety. For one - reducing the train's speed limit through town. This past Monday, a 21-year-old was hit and killed by a train near the area Yacos died.

Union Pacific says there's a phone number posted at every railroad crossing to report concerns or issues. They take those calls 24 hours a day and keep a log to make sure they are being addressed, especially in emergency situations.

Each time we speak with the mother of Tanley Yacos, it doesn't get easier.

"I would love to see trains limited to the same speed as cars, it's really what I'd like to see," says Alice Roe, mother of Tanley.

But, she's trying to be stronger in honor of her daughter. She's hoping she can help save others. 13-year-old Tanley was killed on March 26, 2016 while walking along the tracks near Main St. and Houston St. in Buda. Just a year and a half later, and near that same area, another life has been lost.

"Immediately, of course, thought of his family and how shocking it is," says Tanley's mother.

Police say 21-year-old Ian Antonellis was killed Monday night when he was hit by a train on Garison Road. Union pacific says the conductor immediately blew the horn, whistle and applied the brakes. 

"Went into an emergency stop protocol. Even traveling below 40 miles per hour, the train took nearly half a mile to come to a stop. That's just the physics with freight trains and how they're traveling on the tracks," says Jeff DeGraff, Union Pacific Railroad.

Although the track runs through the middle of town, and is a popular attraction, railroad officials say it's still not safe to be on. That's why Tanley's mother would like to see the speed limit even lower - 30 mph.

"When you're a train on that track, there's nothing in your way. It's going to be 30 miles an hour through town with no stop-and-go, it's just going to be straight. So I think that's even generous, at 30 miles an hour, because you can just rip right through town," says Tanley's mother.

The speed limit for all freight railroad tracks are set by the Federal Railroad Administration. Union Pacific tells FOX 7 they actually operate below those limits based on their own operating practice and safety concerns. Tanley's mother says we have to bring more awareness to train safety.

"It's just again ignorance, public ignorance, that is supported by the railroad company because they're not pushing a safety agenda," says Tanley's mother.

So she plans to push her own.

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