NewsPinellas County


Mom thinks noise-canceling earbuds to blame for her son's train accident

man hit by train.jpg
Posted at 5:14 PM, Jul 29, 2021

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Anthony Santana’s mother still doesn’t know for sure how her 16-year-old son got hit by a freight train while walking to work.

“How the hell does a child walk on a railroad track and not hear a freaking train coming," Jackie Benwitt said from her son's hospital room.

But she told ABC Action News Reporter Erik Waxler it might be because he was wearing noise-canceling earbuds.

“I put them in my ears when he first got them, you hear nothing but the sound of the music," she said.

The accident happened in Clearwater Thursday on the tracks adjacent to State Road 590 just west of McMullen Booth Road.

Anthony’s mother tells us he is now in an induced coma with head injuries, broken bones, and lacerations from head to toe.

“I don’t know if he was run over. If he was hit and thrown. I guess they found his hat because that was the way they had me identity my son," said Benwitt.

Anthony, who is a twin, was born prematurely and spent three months in an incubator.

His mom says he’s been fighting since the day he was born and won’t stop now.

“When he makes it through this I want people to know my boy and his fight for survival since the day he brought into this world because he deserves to be applauded and recognized for this.”

Many have already shown support for Anthony, contributing to medical bills through a GoFundMe page:

His mother wants others to be careful when using noise-canceling headphones.

“Don’t drive a car with them. Don’t ride a bike with them because you don’t hear what’s going on around you," she said.