Death of Albany teen hit by train ruled a suicide

ALBANY, Ore. -- A 16-year-old Albany girl died Saturday night after she was hit by a train along Highway 99E, the Linn County Sheriff's Office said.

Investigators with the sheriff's department ruled the death a suicide, officials said Monday.

Deputies were called out to the intersection of Hwy 99E and Beta Drive at around 11:10 pm Saturday when a Union Pacific Railroad employee reported a person was hit by a freight train.

Paramedics searched the area and found the person, identified as Sara-Tessa Raechelle Lytle, 16, of Albany, near the railroad tracks about 15 minutes after the call came in.

The railroad employee told investigators Lytle was walking along the tracks in a poorly lit area. Deputies believe she was alone at the time.

Officials said the train was about a mile long, heading south at about 40 mph when the crash happened. The train was blocking Ellingson Dr. after the train came to a stop.

Lytle was a student at West Albany High School. The school district will have grief counseling on Monday for students returning from spring break.