Chloe Burks' mother says she'd begger her daughter not to wear her headphones in a way that made her inattentive to her surroundings. Natalie Martinez reports.
An Indiana high school was mourning the loss of one its students Thursday after the teen was struck and killed by a train a day earlier.
Chloe Burks, 15, a Hanover Central High School freshman, was walking on the tracks around 2:30 p.m. in the 100 block of 133rd Avenue in Cedar Lake, Ind., when she was struck from behind, authorities said.
"She was walking southbound on the tracks, with headphones in her ears, and didn't hear the southbound train coming up behind her, and it struck her," Officer Randal Mayersky of the Cedar Lake Police Department said.
Students at the high school built a memorial near the tracks of posters, flowers and a stuffed animal. They also wore her favorite colors: neon, white and black.
"Everybody was crying," student Samantha Barnes said. "I've just never seen our school come together over something."
The last time the teen's mother, Kim Burks, said she saw her daughter was that morning when she dropped her off at school after an orthodontist appointment.
She said she'd begged her daughter in the past to not to wear headphones while walking the tracks. It was a thought her father and classmates shared as well.
"That's just who she was, like, you would see her walking down the hallway with her headphones in," Barnes said. "Everybody knows who Chloe is."
Her classmates remembered her for her wacky red hair and her willingness to help others.
"She was always smiling," student Lauren Follmar said. "And you'd see her and if you were a really good friend of hers, she'd give you this funny face and it'd make you laugh."
The 15-year-old hoped to join the military and become a nurse. Her sister said she enjoyed soccer and volleyball.
The Burks family moved to Indiana from Florida last August.