Woman dies in light rail accident

9:16 AM, Jun 10, 2007   |    comments
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A woman fell between two cars of a light-rail train and was dragged and killed Friday, Metro Transit spokesman Bob Gibbons said. Authorities have identified the victim as 79-year-old Evelyn Cotton of Minneapolis. Security video showed that Cotton appeared to be walking toward a train heading toward downtown Minneapolis when she stumbled and may have tried to reach for the first car to regain her balance, said Minneapolis police Captain Mike Martin. The video also showed bystanders tried unsuccessfully to grab her before she fell. "She probably didn't realize the train was moving, and she got caught between the train and the platform, and the train dragged her," Martin said. The accident happened about 1:35 p.m. at the Franklin Avenue station. Investigators say the conductor wasn't aware of the accident, and continued toward the next stop until a witness called 911. "Suddenly we just heard a bump, bump, bump," said Dakotah Fujan, St. Paul. Police are interviewing witnesses and reconstructing the accident, but do not suspect foul play. "It's easy to see how this could occur," Martin said. "It's just a tragic accident. I don't see how it could have been prevented." Part of the Hiawatha line was closed after the accident, and buses were used to carry riders past the closed section, Gibbons said. The fatality was the fourth involving light-rail trains since the line opened in June 2004.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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