Three-year-old Lucía died after falling asleep on tracks and being hit by a train

A post-mortem determined that three-year-old Lucía Vivar Hidalgo died from a head injury most likely received after she fell asleep on the tracks and was hit by the first commuter train of the morning.

Three-year-old Lucía died after falling asleep on tracks and being hit by a train
A photo of Lucía issued with the missing notice.

Investigators believe the most likely hypothesis is that Lucía died accidentally after wandering off from the terrace where her parents were having dinner on Wednesday night.

Sources close to the case told local media that the post mortem results showed injuries consistent with being hit by a train and that no wrongdoing by a third party was suspected.

Lucía was playing with cousins near the bar restaurant next to the station in Pizarra where her parents were chatting with other family members.

But after losing sight of her, they raised the alarm at 11.25pm and sparked a search involving 600 rescue service members and volunteers,  that lasted all night.

The little girl’s body was eventually discovered at 7am on Thursday morning lying lifeless alongside a railway track some three kilometres along the tracks from the restaurant.

A train driver spotted what he thought could be a body alongside the track and stopped the train to alert authorities, according to a report in the local Diario Sur.

It is thought likely that the girl became disorientated and couldn’t find her way back, walked three kilometres along the tracks until she felt sleepy and lay down.

It is likely she killed when hit by the first train of the morning which passed Pizarra at 6.45am but wasn’t spotted until that same train – driven by the same driver – made the return journey at 7.15am.

Residents in Pizarra, a town of 9,000 residents to the northwest of Malaga have been devastated by the death and three official days of mourning have been declared.

The funeral is taking place on Friday.

READ MORE: Three-year-old girl found dead on train tracks after parents lose sight of her during dinner




Spain mourns Blanca Fernández Ochoa, the Olympian skier found dead in Madrid’s sierra

The body of former Spanish alpine skimedallist Blanca Fernández Ochoa was found Wednesday in a mountainous area near Madrid after days of searches for her by hundreds of police and volunteers, officials said.

Spain mourns Blanca Fernández Ochoa, the Olympian skier found dead in Madrid's sierra
Archive photo of Blanca Fernández Ochoa during her Olympic career.

The 56-year-old — won a bronze skiing for Spain in the 1992 Winter Games in Albertville, becoming the country's first female Winter Olympic medallist — had been missing since she was last spotted on surveillance video at a shopping centre on August 24th.

Her car was later found at a parking lot near the start of a hiking trail in Cercedilla, a mountainous village near Madrid. The authorities said they are still investigating the cause of her death.

“Solidarity, support and human warmth have been felt these days in the mountains of Cercedilla. Security forces and many volunteers have taken part in the search for Blanca Fernández Ochoa. But nothing could be done. My affection to all her family,” Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez tweeted.

Hundreds of police, firefighters, forest rangers and volunteers, backed by helicopters, drones and tracking dogs, had taken part in the search for Fernández Ochoa.

Her family only alerted the authorities about her disappearance on August 29th because they said it was not unusual for her to go on hikes in the area, even without her phone, according to Spanish media reports.

Police on Saturday issued an appeal on social media for help from the public in locating Fernández Ochoa along with a picture of her, which drew media attention to her disappearance.

She was well known in Spain, where she had taken part in several TV reality shows after retiring from sports.

Her older brother, Francisco Fernández Ochoa, won a gold medal for skiing in the 1972 Winter Olympics in Japan. He is the first and only Spaniard to have won a gold medal at the Winter Olympics.   

There is a statue in his honour in Cercedilla.   

Until 2018 the brother and sister were the only Spaniards to have won medals at a Winter Olympics.

“It is a very sad day for Spanish sports,” Spain's secretary of state for sports, Maria Jose Rienda, said in a statement.

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