Garden grows for Woodland teens killed on tracks

Woodland garden grows in memory of teens
A memorial garden now grows roughly 10 feet from where two Woodland teens were killed four years ago by an Amtrak train as the teens waited for another train to pass. (April 14, 2013 | KOIN 6 News)

WOODLAND, Wash. (KOIN) — Two teenagers who made a fatal decision to walk on Washington railroad tracks now have a formal memorial.

The tight-knit community of Woodland, Wash., has created a memorial less than 10 feet from the rail line.

“We have already had two deaths and do not want any more,” said memorial planner Patti Luke.

Katie Blacklaw and her boyfriend Eddie Denson were just kids, freshmen at Woodland High School. They were killed four years ago by an Amtrak train as they stood on the tracks, waiting for another train to approach from the opposite direction.

They never heard the warning whistle.

For Luke this new memorial garden is a labor of love.

“I would say there are tears every day from these kids, from one person or another,” Luke said.

And it’s a way to get out a warning.

“It is a place for safety messages,” Luke said. “I cannot change the railroad, but I can tell people, ‘Do not stand on a track.'”

It’s a message in memory of young people whose lives ended with one bad decision.

The group still has to pay for the signs to complete the memorial. Anyone who would like to help can donate to the Katie Blacklaw and Eddie Denson Memorial Structure Account at any branch of US Bank.

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