The Trinity Railway Express says employees failed to follow the proper procedures when an 8-year-old girl was separated from her family.
The Trinity Railway Express says employees failed to follow the proper procedures when an 8-year-old girl was separated from her family last week.
"The train stops; Isabella, she steps off," said the girl's aunt, Rosemary Criado. "I'm right behind her. The doors close before the rest of the family is able to get off the train."
Criado said she and another woman pressed the stop and panic buttons to tell the conductor that the 8-year-old was alone at the station.
But Criado was told to call 911 and that the train could not stop or reverse to pick up her niece, she said.
However, TRE spokeswoman Joan Hunter said the employees did not follow policy. Procedures are in place that could have reversed the train and reunited Isabella with her family, she said.
"We deeply regret and are very sorry that that occurred," she said.
TRE is investigating the incident. It said the employees involved are being counseled about the proper procedures.
Jean Deetz, a veteran TRE rider, witnessed the incident and stayed with Isabella for the 45 minutes it took her family back to the station from downtown Fort Worth.
"I wouldn't call myself a hero," Deetz said. "I was just in the right place at the right time."
Criado said her family's first ride on the train might be its last.
"My kids were terrified, and that's all they -- that's the whole experience that they got from this, that 'I'm never going to ride the train again,'" she said.