Crossing-the-tracks tragedy for Erickson family

Tragedy | Hank the Cowdog author’s granddaughter hit by a train Saturday
by Marvin Olasky
Posted 5/16/17, 12:27 pm

John R. Erickson, author of the Hank the Cowdog books, lost a beloved granddaughter on Saturday.

ReAnna Wilson, 13, who lived in a town called Canadian in the Texas panhandle, was walking across the railroad tracks just after 5 p.m. when a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train hit her. 

Hemphill County Sheriff Nathan Lewis said ReAnna, walking east into town, stopped to let a northbound train pass. He said she then stepped onto the tracks, holding a cellphone, with earbud headphones in her ears. A southbound train hit her.

Burlington spokesman Joseph Faust told the train was traveling 55 miles per hour. A train going at that speed takes about 1 mile to stop. The lead locomotive was camera equipped, so the sheriff and the company will review that footage. 

The funeral service will be at 10 a.m. tomorrow in Canadian’s First United Methodist Church. Two months ago a huge prairie fire destroyed Erickson’s home.

Marvin Olasky

Marvin is editor in chief of WORLD and the author of more than 20 books, including The Tragedy of American Compassion. His latest book is Reforming Journalism. Follow Marvin on Twitter @MarvinOlasky.

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  • GB
    Posted: Tue, 05/16/2017 05:31 pm

    So deeply saddened by the loss of John R Erickson's beloved grandaughter. Praying for God's comfort during this painful time.

    George Buell

  • VT
    Posted: Tue, 05/16/2017 08:19 pm

    Praying for you Mr. Erickson. I am very sorry for your loss.

  • Deb O's picture
    Deb O
    Posted: Tue, 05/16/2017 08:57 pm

    So very sorry for the tragic loss of your granddaughter, Mr. and Mrs. Erickson.  May you know and experience Jesus as your Balm of Gilead in the days, weeks and months ahead.  He is in this deep valley with you.

  • DG
    Posted: Sun, 05/21/2017 09:18 pm

    Oh Mr. Erickson, we are SO sorry for yet another big loss for you and your family.  Praying that God's comfort will enfold and support you. May you be filled with His peace. The Graham Family in ID