Light-rail train hits, kills man in south Minneapolis

  • Updated: November 21, 2007 - 8:45 PM

It's unclear why the unidentified pedestriam was on the tracks at the 46th Street Station, but officials said they believe all safety warnings were working at the time.

LRT accident scene
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Scene of Wednesday's fatal light rail train accident near the intersection of 46th and Hiawatha Ave. South.

Photo: Bruce Bisping, Star Tribune

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A pedestrian was struck and killed by a light-rail train Wednesday afternoon in south Minneapolis.

A northbound train hit a man at 2:45 p.m. at the 46th Street Station, Metro Transit Assistant General Manager Julie Johanson said.

It's still unclear what led the man to be on the tracks, but officials said they believe all safety warnings were working at the time.

The victim, who died at the scene, was not carrying identification, and as of Wednesday evening, officials said they were still trying to identify him.

It was the second death at the 46th Street Station, and the fifth along the full line since light rail started running in 2004. In August 2006, a bicyclist was killed after crossing diagonally through the rail arms and flashing lights.

"Metro Transit has no reason to believe at this time that there are safety issues associated with that intersection," Johanson said.

The accident happened on one of the busiest travel days of the year, and buses shuttled passengers while the trains were down. By 4 p.m., the trains had resumed full service.

When Chris Fitzharris, 29, heard about the accident and delays, he called a friend to drive him farther down the tracks so he could get to the airport. Fitzharris was headed to Chicago for Thanksgiving, where an afternoon snowstorm threatened flights into the airport.

"I'm pretty sure this will be the start of all my delays," he said.

COURTNEY BLANCHARD

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LRT accident scene