HOUSTON (FOX 26) - An HISD special education teaching assistant was struck by an Amtrak train and killed near Kashmere High School in northeast Houston. The accident that killed 69-year-old Janet Harris occurred at the intersection of Lockwood and Bennington Streets around 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Houston police and fire along with Union Pacific officers responded to the scene. Police say Harris's injuries were fatal and she died at the scene. Amtrak officials say no one aboard the train was injured, and at this time the train's operator is not believed to have been under the influence of alcohol.
Union Pacific owns the railroad and they say they've inspected the track and have found nothing wrong with it. The track has reopened and operations have resumed.
Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliara said he does not know how fast the train was traveling at the time Harris was struck.
The victims' son Frank Harris said his mom was a special education teaching assistant at Kashmere High School for over ten years.
"I heard she was walking from lunch or home or something like that. I'm not sure what she was doing. But it's just tragic," Frank Harris said.
Some local residents say this is a very dangerous intersection.
"It's really dangerous, sometimes it be at night, almost full day, you know and that's it, it could have been anybody, it could have been anybody," Kenneth Williams said.
HISD released a statement about the accident:
A special education teaching assistant employed at Kashmere High School died Tuesday after being struck by a train while walking on Lockwood Street.
The incident occurred in the early afternoon, and it is under investigation by the Houston Police Department. Johnnie Harris had worked at HISD since 1991, and she spent the past 10 years at Kashmere High School.
"Ms. Harris was a treasured member of the Kashmere family," said Principal Nancy Blackwell. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ms. Harris' family. She will be deeply missed."