Fredzania Thompson wanted to be a model so badly that she put her education on hold to achieve her dream.
As the Dallas News reports, the 19-year-old from Navasota, Texas was full of plans for the future. She was engaged to be married and had just found out that she was pregnant.
A student a Blinn College, Thompson had turned down modeling opportunities in the past. But later, spurred by her childhood passion, she decided take a break from her studies to pursue a modeling career. Her mother told The Eagle:
“She was more interested in modeling. That's definitely what she wanted to do. It's what she had started to do the day she was [killed].”
Thompson and her photographer (a friend of a friend) set out on March 10 to take photos for her portfolio. They set up a shoot on some train tracks, right at the junction where two sets of tracks meet.
Thompson's family shared a photo from that shoot, which they say is the last photo ever taken of the teen:
Sadly, tragedy struck during the photo session. Thompson heard a train coming down one set of tracks and stepped aside to watch it pass. Unfortunately, she'd also turned her back to another oncoming train. When she tried to cross the tracks to avoid the first train, she was hit by the second.
Thompson died on the way to the hospital. The photographer was not hurt in the incident.
Thompson's family is now mourning her loss. Her mother told The Eagle that in addition to being an athlete and a caring daughter, Thompson was a role model to her five younger sisters and brothers:
“She was very helpful to her siblings. She was very outgoing, and made sure that everything was taken care of with them. She was a leader.”
Earl Chatman, Thompson's fiancé, added that her death had been especially difficult on his seven-year-old son, who thought of Thompson as a mom:
“He woke up crying this morning. He thought [her death] was a dream.”
On Monday — which would have been Thompson's twentieth birthday — family and friends held a candlelight vigil and balloon launch in her memory, KBTX reported. A GoFundMe page has been set up to help pay for funeral costs.
Chatman learned Thompson was pregnant only nine days before the accident. He told KAGS News that he's still learning to cope with a future without her:
“It's really tough right now because we all needed her in our lives. She made everybody's day every time you saw her with that beautiful smile.”