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fredzania thompson

Many of us have gone to extreme lengths in order to achieve the perfect selfie or an epic pic for Instagram. Whether you catch a blurry version of Zendaya after staking out her favorite restaurant all day or you’re mimicking Beyonce’s  infamous “Formation” scene with fresh cornrows in your friend’s 69 Chevy Camaro. Either way the story of 20-year-old  Fredzania “Zanie” Thompson is an example of how the pursuit of the perfect photo can turn fatal if you aren’t careful.

The Eagle reports that Thompson was killed in the town of Navasota, Texas while posing on a set of tracks during a modeling shoot. Witnesses say the young woman was standing in between two sets of train tracks and watching for an oncoming train with her back turned toward an oncoming Union Pacific train. When she became aware that a train was coming in the direction she was facing she attempted to cross the Union Pacific tracks and was hit by a Union Pacific train she hadn’t spotted. She died en route to the hospital.

Years before, the athletic Navasota High School student had earned several scholarships and had initially chosen to attend Blinn College in Bryan. But she ultimately decided to put her education on hold as she pursued her dream of modeling. Thompson also learned she was about to become a mother. Her fiancé, 25-year-old Darnell Chatman spoke about how Thompson recently revealed she was expecting his child:

“”She said, ‘You’re going to be a dad again.’”

Chatman went on to say that his 7-year-old son woke up in tears shortly after learning about Thompson’s death, and that she had been a motherly figure to the boy which would’ve soon been her step-son.

“He thought [her death] was a dream.”

The family spoke of how caring and considerate Thompson was to siblings and friends and shared a few pictures that had been taken at the tracks that day. The photos, taken by a friend, were going to be added to a portfolio Thompson had begun assembling to further her modeling career.

GoFundMe page was created for Thompson’s funeral arrangements. Her funeral service was held on March 18, and she was buried in the Oakland Cemetery in Navasota, Texas according to her obituary. We hope the Thompson’s loved ones are able to find some peace at this time. Hopefully Thompson’s story will be a reminder of the importance of remaining aware of your surroundings while taking photos keeping your safety a priority.

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