'She Was A Survivor:' Loved Ones Mourn Loss Of Woman, 32, Killed By Train In Garfield

Tara Yannette was a survivor.

Tara Yannette's boyfriend, Richard Black, made a makeshift memorial at the crash scene in Garfield.

Tara Yannette's boyfriend, Richard Black, made a makeshift memorial at the crash scene in Garfield.

Photo Credit: Courtesy of Richard Black

She was a two-time liver transplant recipient. She was nine months sober. The 32-year-old Wallington resident had a new boyfriend, Richard Black, and the two were in love.

But on Wednesday, July 3, Tara died by suicide, throwing herself in front of a train near the Plauderville Station in Garfield, behind her boyfriend's home, loved ones and NJ Transit officials tell Daily Voice.

"She was a beautiful girl and for whatever reason, something snapped in her mind," said Tara's mother, Cheryl Fedor. "I wish she would have reached out to someone. I can't understand it."

Fedor was watching the 4 o'clock news when she saw someone had been fatally struck by a train.

"I knew it was behind [Richard's] house, and your mind goes, 'No, no,'" Fedor said. "But it was."

Tara was just 22 years old when her body started rejecting her liver, her family and boyfriend tell Daily Voice. She had been on anti-rejection medication and battled complications for years.

"She was a survivor," her mother said. "She fought her medical issues very hard. It was a hard life for her, 10 years of battling and being told you're going to die. And then you don't, and then you develop something else."

But Fedor says things were looking up for Tara.

"There was light ahead — a brand-new little nephew," her mother said "She had her issues, but there was no reason for this. She was doing so much better."

Black, 48, returned to the crash scene that night, where he set up a memorial with colorful teddy bears, a makeshift bouquet of flowers, and a cross made of paint sticks.

He also retrieved a silver hoop earring left behind.

"She was the sweetest angel on the planet," said Black, who has been sober since 1996. "Her only goal was to be happy and she was glowing. Everyone loved her, she was like a beacon of positivity. 

"She had the most brilliant glow and smile, and everyone was drawn to her magical energy. She loved me and I loved her back. My heart is bleeding."

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call: 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

to follow Daily Voice Garfield-Lodi and receive free news updates.