Woman arrested in fatal Zephyrhills train accident

Posted at 12:17 PM, Dec 12, 2016
and last updated 2017-01-18 23:20:10-05

UPDATE: Jan. 18, 2017 |

Pasco Sheriff's deputies have made an arrest in the death of a child hit by a train in Zephyrhills on Dec. 12, 2016.

Heather Henderson was arrested Wednesday for aggravated child neglect with great bodily harm. She was a babysitter for the child and its sibling.

Original Story | Deputies from the Pasco County Sheriff's Office are investigating a deadly train accident involving a toddler.

Hunter Fink, 2, and his babysitter, Heather Henderson, 26, were hit by the train in the area of Pattie Road and Paul S. Buchman Highway just before noon on Monday.  

They were both were flown to area hospitals.  Hunter died from his injuries a short time later at St. Joseph's Hospital in Tampa.

According to Sheriff Chris Nocco, Hunter and his 4-year-old sister were walking along the train tracks on a bridge with Henderson and another adult male identified as Cody Williams.

When they realized a train was coming, Williams grabbed the 4-year-old girl and jumped off the bridge to safety.  Nocco said it was about an 8 foot jump.

Henderson was holding Hunter, but was unable to jump out of the way.  

Nocco described the bridge being located after a sharp turn, which is why they likely didn't see the train.

CSX officials are on the scene investigating.

Officials say the train was traveling as much as 60 MPH and took a mile and a half to come to a stop.

The train had left Tampa and was traveling to destination in Georgia.

Now the community is stepping up to help the family.

A GoFundMe account has been established to help the family cover funeral costs.

Family members said the Go Fund Me Money will also allow Hunter's mother can take some time off when needed and to help care for her daughter.

A Pasco County teacher is also working to help the family have gifts, gift cards, clothes and canned goods in time for the holidays.

"It could've happened to anybody," said Danna Scranton, who teaches at Thomas Weightman Middle School. "And we would certainly want that same outpouring of support that I'm trying to get for this family."

Community members who want to help can drop off clothes, gift cards, canned goods or presents for four-year-old Maddie, Hunter's sister at her school. Scranton said she especially likes dolls.

Maddie is size 5/6 and her mother is size medium.

Scranton also encourages people in the community to write the family a holiday card or nice note.

Please drop off any items for Hunter Fink's family at:

Thomas Weightman Middle School
30649 Wells Rd, Wesley Chapel, FL 33545
Phone: (813) 794-0200