SAN LEANDRO (KCBS)— The family of an 18-year-old aspiring doctor is trying to raise money for her funeral after she was hit and killed by an Amtrak train in San Leandro on Monday.

The family plans to set up an account for donations to help with funeral costs for Brittney Silva, the high-school senior who was about to graduate and had overcome great odds in order to head to college.

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Silva was struck near her back yard at Hesperian Boulevard and Springlake Drive when she was crossing the train tracks while wearing “earbud” style headphones, according to police. Witnesses had tried to warn her of the oncoming danger, but she was reportedly on the phone.

Angelie Salas, her college advisor at San Leandro High, added white flowers to her on-site memorial.

“She had a lot of drive. She knew what she wanted and that’s always a joy to work with someone who knows exactly what they want,” Salas said.

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Her friend, Michael Butler, 20, admired Silva’s drive given that she didn’t have the same opportunities as more “well-off” students.

He said he was always proud of her for having her mind set at such an early age. “That’s perfect. But, now it’s all gone,” he said.

Silva had been getting prepared for this Friday’s prom and graduation in a few weeks.


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People who would like to help out with funeral expenses can send checks to the Chase Bank on Fairmont Drive in San Leandro, care of the girl’s grandmother, Yolanda Payne or to account number 595800058  at any Chase branch.