The man killed when his wheelchair was struck by a light-rail train Sunday evening was identified as 61-year-old Daniel Wease, of Minneapolis, the Hennepin County medical examiner’s office said Tuesday.
Wease was on his way home from a movie with a few other people about 6 p.m. when his wheelchair got hung up on the tracks at E. 32nd Street and Hiawatha Avenue.
Richard Fossen was driving home from the grocery store when he saw Wease struggling to get across the tracks on a narrow strip of concrete sidewalk.
“I noticed something out of my peripheral vision and figured out it was a wheelchair with one wheel off the ground,” Fossen said Tuesday. “Then I saw the light of the train. I saw the impact. It looked horrible. There was not enough time.”
Wease was hit by a northbound Blue Line train. He was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center in Minneapolis, where he died about three hours later.
On Tuesday, a small memorial composed of a few flowers and a Vikings flag lay in the snow at the scene.
Metro Transit is still investigating the incident and whether the wheelchair was stuck on the tracks.
Wease’s death was the second in the past month and the 13th on the Blue Line since service began in 2004. A bicyclist, Jason M. McCormick, 29, of Minneapolis, was killed at E. 46th Street and Hiawatha Avenue on Dec. 11. One person died in December in a crash along the Green Line in St. Paul.
Two other people were injured in collisions with light-rail trains in December, one each on the Green Line and the Blue Line.
The string of collisions has prompted Metro Transit to review safety procedures.