Police: Teens Who Died in Trail Derailment Were Buried Under Coal

Howard County police are revealing more details in a fatal Ellicott City train derailment.

A did so after passing a few feet behind two young women who were sitting on the edge of a bridge over Main Street, police said Tuesday afternoon.

Those two women, Elizabeth Conway Nass and Rose Mayr, both 19, of Ellicott City, died in the incident after they were "buried under the coal as it dumped from the train cars," Howard County police said.

Police said investigators located the bodies of teens “seated on the edge of a bridge over Main Street.”

Safety officials said in a release the women were “sitting on the ledge facing east towards Baltimore County with their backs to the side of the train as it passed a few feet behind them.”

“For an unknown reason, the train derailed, causing open cars filled with coal to tip over,” according to the release.

Police said they would not know the final cause of the women’s death until autopsies are completed.

Police also said they do not know whether the derailment had anything to do with the women's presence on the bridge.

The investigation into the derailment itself is being handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.

The safety board will host a press conference at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in front of The Phoenix Emporium, 8049 Main St., to discuss train derailment, according to Howard County government officials. 

Howard County police also said they are aware of

“They have viewed the photos on public web sites and recognize that they appear to have been posted by one of the girls,” officials said in a news release. “This will be verified only after the girls’ cell phones are processed by authorities.”

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Wayne Monroe August 21, 2012 at 08:41 PM
I can recall one incident years ago when a train encountered someone on the track ahead and in the effort to stop at least two cars jackknifed and derailed resulting in a bit of a wreck.
Sandy MacKenzie August 22, 2012 at 07:50 PM
Young people have sat on this bridge my entire life..and nothing like this ever happened. I was born and raised in Ellicott City, ( and) have lived in Oella for the past 45 years....What were the chances? God Bless the families and friends of those sweet girls...
Elle August 22, 2012 at 09:02 PM
I hope this helps others, young and old, to stay off railroad tracks. My heart breaks for these girls families and my prayers are with them.
MG42 August 22, 2012 at 09:25 PM
What a terrible tragedy. If they were just sitting on the opposite side of the tracks they probably would have been fine, since the coal would have dumped away from them. Very sad.
sjm August 23, 2012 at 02:50 AM
It is not a tragedy - it was an obvious consequence of stupid behavior. These kids have no parents, no rules, no accountability. How about the fact that two 19-year-olds aren't supposed to be drinking in the first place? If they hadn't been drunk, maybe they wouldn't have made the stupid decision to be where they didn't belong in the first place. It will just keep happening again and again until parents wake up.
ChrisZ August 23, 2012 at 04:18 AM
Not very nice comments. I am sure that at 19 you were the pinnacle of maturity. The families deserve condolences and prayers, not sermons. It is tragic that two young people had to die this way and I cannot imagine the pain they are feeling. The word is "empathy," or "sympathy."
Elle August 23, 2012 at 01:06 PM
That's very unkind and rude. Why are you such a bitter person?
MAB October 19, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Unfortunately, it was their time to go. This is an example of fate. God bless them and their families.


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