POTEAU, Okla. (KFSM) — Thursday evening (July 4) 43-year-old Tina Jo Hickman was hit and killed by a train off Witte Street in Poteau.
"Everybody is like, 'oh she stepped in front of the train'. No, she didn't. It was an accident. She wouldn't have done that to her kids," Hickman's sister Melissa Williamson said.
Williamson said her sister loved life and she knows in her heart it was a tragic accident.
"She was busy, focused, trying to get to the fireworks show where she goes every year," Williamson said.
Poteau police said Hickman had been camping in a wooded area and was walking on the side of the train tracks.
They said she was with a male companion when he took a different route to get out of the camping area.
"It's our belief of what we have gathered so far that she thought she had stepped far enough clear of the rail bed and was not accounting for the amount of overhang from the train," said Poteau Assistant Police Chief Greg Russell.
Tina Hickman's mother, Tina Love went to the site where the accident happened. Her family took pictures of the campsite. A boat with Tina Hickman's nickname, Smidget remained at the site.
"We found a backpack with her stuff in it. She was well loved. She was one of a kind," Love said.
Hickman's family said they want others to see the dangers of getting to close to railroad tracks.
"It's not a sidewalk. It's not a way to get away from traffic. It's not a quick route to get somewhere faster. You just shouldn't do it." Melissa Williamson said.
The family is now in the process of starting to plan Hickman's funeral.
"She loved to fish, she loved to play tricks on people and she loved her kids," Williamson said. " We have lived there our whole life. We grew up on Dewey. We've been around that train track. She must have been comfortable. I don't know."