Blue Line and Green Line Accidents

2014 August 8
Blue Line Stations Closed For Repairs (Minneapolis)
Ten-year-old blue line light rail stations closed this weekend for repairs and track maintenance. The stations closed for repairs were: 50th Street, VA Medical, and stations between Franklin Avenue and Terminal 2-Humphrey.

2014 July 2
Green Line Light Rail Hits Car (Minneapolis, MN)
A westbound green line light rail train hit a car near the University of Minnesota’s stadium village.

2014 June 20
Woman Killed By Light Rail (MinneapolisMN)
A pedestrian was struck and killed by a southbound blue line light rail train using its emergency brakes on the north side of 35th Street East and Hiawatha at 2:50pm. Karen Lynn Fraser, 41, was the eleventh person killed by the blue line light rail since it opened on June 26, 2004.

2014 June 8
Fourth Crash For Central Corridor Green Line (MinneapolisMN)
A black Chevrolet Prizm sedan was heavily damaged when it was hit by a Central Corridor green line light rail at the intersection of Portland Avenue South and Fifth Street South. The crash occurred at 10:40pm in front of the light rail advocating Star Tribune. The woman driving the sedan was shaken up by the crash. The green line hasn’t opened but had three other crashes: April 30th, May 10th, and May 16th. Minnesota reports 25 highway-rail at-grade collisions so far this year. The chance ofdeath or serious injury from a motor vehicle-train crash is 11 times greater than for other highway collisions.

2014 June 5
Light Rail Crossing Gates Stuck Down (Minneapolis)
A northbound blue line light rail train was stopped at the Cedar-Riverside Station due to crossing arms stuck in the down position at the 11th Avenue crossing. At least the blue line (Hiawatha) has crossing gates, unlike the green line (Central Corridor).

2014 June 2
Light Rail Train Hits Car (MinneapolisMN)
A southbound blue line (Hiawatha) light rail train hit a car at 3rd Av S and 5th St S at 9:30pm. The crash occurred by the Hennepin County Government Center.

2014 April 12
Two Shot At Light Rail Station (Minneapolis)
Two men were shot at the 5th Street light rail station at nearly 3am. After cleaning up peanut shells, spilled beer, and vomit at the Twin’s win against Kansas City (10-1) at Target Field, the two were shot on the light rail platform. Minneapolis police located the victims and sent them to Hennepin County Medical Center.

2014 March 18
Light Rail Derailment Planned (MinneapolisMN)
An exercise involving the derailment of a bus, substituting for a light rail train, will take place in Stadium Village (near Washington & University Av SE) while the University of Minnesota is on spring break. Safety exercises are good. This one plans to include a simulated explosion, which is not a light rail problem. Pedestrian caught under a train or train-vehicle collisions are problems. Light rail trains don’t explode.

2014 February 1
Light Rail Train Hits Police Car (Minneapolis)
A blue line light rail train hit and heavily damaged a Maple Grove squad car at the dangerous Fifth Street and 5th Avenue downtown intersection. Six year veteran officer Jesse Mathwig was returning from the Hennepin County Juvenile Detention Center at 1am when the right side of his police car was smashed by the train, injuring the officer. Mathwig was the officer who rescued a man from a car fire on Highway 169 during the snowstorm two days earlier.

2014 January 30
Story Revision – Blue Line Light Rail Crash (BloomingtonMN)
Original story: The trailer of a westbound pickup truck got stuck on the tracks at 34th Avenue S and Airport Lane at 11:20am. A northbound Hiawatha (blue line) light rail train crashed into the trailer (getting it unstuck). Revised story: The MetroTransit blue line light rail train operator had a blinking track light and started to slow down the train but “he could feel the train start to slide or slip on the track.” He pushed the emergency brake but it was too late. The westbound pickup truck had a green arrow but was hit by the northbound light rail train.

2014 January 12
Man Hit and Killed By Light Rail Train (MinneapolisMN)
Michael Frederick Kwosek was walking across the intersection of 42nd and Hiawatha was hit and killed by a southbound blue line light rail train at 6pm. No gate arm blocked sidewalk traffic. “Several” passengers were on the train at the time. This was the tenth light rail fatality since June 2004.

2013 December 31
Cold Temperatures Stopped Light Rail Train (Minneapolis)
Subzero temperatures were to blame for mechanical problems on a blue line light rail train. The train broke down at the Lake Street station at 6:45am. Buses took over for half the day, until the light rail train service could resume in the afternoon.

2013 August 26
Michelob Golden Light Rail Train Crash With AC Van (Minneapolis)
A blue line Hiawatha light rail train, under the influence of Michelob Golden Light beer advertising, hit a white NAC  Mechanical van at the intersection of 5th and 5th, downtown Minneapolis. The crash occurred at about 11:30am. A parking garage employee reported to the Star Tribune that the train operator, “Sounded the horn and attempted to slow down but was unable to avoid hitting the van. I see this all day long.” Tim Harlow of the Star Tribune later reported that of the 74 incidents since the blue line Hiawatha train started in 2005, 12% have occurred at 5th Street and 5th Avenue at-grade intersection in downtown Minneapolis.

2013 April 11
Icy Wires Closes Hiawatha Light Rail (Minneapolis)
Ice on the catenary wires closed the Hiawatha light rail line, keeping the train from running Thursday.

2013 March 23
Hiawatha Light Rail Pushes Car One Block, Kills Driver (MinneapolisMN)
A northbound Hiawatha light rail train hit a westbound car on East 26th Street at 6:30pm. The train pushed and crushed the driver’s side of the white four-door sedan for 600 feet (two football fields) before coming to halt. A fire burned in and around the car. The car’s driver, 49 year old Francisco Antonio Sanchez-Andrade, died at the scene, in front of the Metro Transit rail technical support center. One passenger described the impact as, “We didn’t even feel it, that’s how soft it was,” almost as if brakes were not applied.

2013 March 18
Car Slid Into Hiawatha Train Car (MinneapolisMN)
Icy conditions on 42nd Street South caused a car to slide into the side of a Hiawatha light rail train at 1:30pm. The motorist left the scene but called at 2pm.

2013 March 7
Downtown Light Rail Power Lines Fall (Minneapolis)
A cable malfunction caused a construction crane to drop on the Hiawatha light rail power lines, causing the power lines to fall. Light rail train service was interrupted for hours.

2013 February 22
Hiawatha Line LRT Collides With Car (Minneapolis)
A south-bound Hiawatha Line light rail train collided with a car near the Hennepin County Government Center around 8:45am. There were no injuries.

2013 January 22
Hiawatha Light Rail Train And Truck Collide (MinneapolisMN)
A commercial truck and a blue line train collided at Fifth Street and Fifth Avenue South in downtown Minneapolis. The crash occurred at 1:35pm. The train was empty at the time. The crash disrupted train service for an hour. A passenger of the Minneapolis School District delivery truck walked to an ambulance and was taken to the Hennepin County Medical Center.

2013 January 4
Hiawatha Light Rail Train Hits Vehicle (Bloomington, MN)
A Hiawatha Line – Metro Transit light rail train hit a vehicle at 7:39 a.m. near American Blvd in Bloomington, a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. No details were reported.

2012 December 26
Woman Robbed on Hiawatha Line While Having Seizure (MinneapolisMN)
A 25 year old woman riding on the Minneapolis Hiawatha light rail train had a seizure near the Lake Street Station. Three young men stole her bag and cell phone.

2012 October 13-14
Dead Drunk Zombies Fight On Light Rail Ride (MinneapolisMN)
Video captured the dead fighting the dead and the undead while catching a free ride on the Hiawatha light rail line. Beth Houston of Burnsville was one of several witnesses recording the brawl at 1am. “I’ve never, ever seen an officer or security on that train. I’ve never been asked to see if I’d paid and had a ticket. Ever,” Houston said. Another woman reported being hit in the face in a fight at 3am. [video]

2012 April 13
Man Hospitalized After Dragged by Light Rail Cars (Bloomington, MN)
A man was hospitalized Friday night after falling between moving light rail cars. Metro Transit Police say the accident happened around 10:20 p.m. at the American Boulevard Station off 34th Ave. S. in Bloomington. They say a man in his mid-20’s was standing on a platform with some friends when he lost his balance and fell in between two cars of a moving southbound train. They say he was dragged for a short time before coming back to rest on the platform. A transit customer called 911. Officials say the man was conscious and breathing. He was transported to Hennepin County Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

2012 March 13
Worker Injured at Light Rail Construction Site (St. Paul)
A worker was injured along the light rail system on University Avenue in St. Paul on Tuesday morning. Medic 14 and Squad 2 were dispatched to a reported man injured and down a four-foot hole on University Avenue near Hamline Avenue around 10:45 a.m. Medic 14 and Squad 2 arrived to find the man, suffering injuries from being struck by construction equipment, laying a couple of feet below grade. The remainder of the assignment was cancelled as the crews packaged the patient onto a backboard. He was carried up from the hole and transported by Medic 14 to an area hospital.

2011 December 23
Car Hits Light Rail Train (Minneapolis)
No one was seriously injured when a car hit a light rail train in south Minneapolis Friday afternoon. Metro Transit says the accident happened around 2:30 p.m. at Hiawatha Avenue and East 42nd Street. A car traveling southbound on Hiawatha turned on to westbound 42nd Street, going under a gate arm and hitting the side of a train. The person driving the car was not injured, authorities say. One person inside the train complained of chest pains.

2011 November 20
Car Hit By Light Rail Train (Minneapolis)
Metro Transit Police say a car went under a gate arm and was hit by a light rail train Sunday afternoon. They say the car and train were both traveling south on Hiawatha when the car turned into the train’s path on 35th Street.

2011 October 19
Worker loses hand, foot in Central Corridor construction accident (Minneapolis)
A worker on the Central Corridor rail project was rushed into surgery after his piece of equipment tipped over late Tuesday morning east of downtown Minneapolis. The Ames Construction Co. employee was working on an overpass above Interstate 35W, where the Central Corridor rail will connect with the Hiawatha light rail line, said project spokeswoman Laura Baenen. Other workers at the site used a front-end loader to move the equipment off their trapped colleague’s right leg, Baenen said. The worker underwent surgery at Hennepin County Medical Center, where his right hand and right foot were amputated. This is the second “time-loss” injury since work on the Central Corridor project began in September 2009. In June 2011, a worker for a subcontractor severely injured her hand while operating a drill on the Washington Avenue Bridge, Baenen said.

2011 August 3
A White Minivan and Light Rail Train Collide in Downtown (Minneapolis)
On Wednesday, August 3, 2011 at approximately 4:50pm a white minivan and a Light Rail Train collided. This accident took place at the cross section of 5th avenue and 5th street. The Light Rail Train # 116A (LRT) came to a halt with passengers on board.

2011 August 1
Light Rail Hits Van Making Illegal Turn (Minneapolis)
Metro Transit police say a light rail struck a van that made an illegal turn in front of the train on 34th Avenue. The crash took place north of the Interstate 494 bridge as the train was traveling southbound from the Humphrey Terminal toward the stop at American Boulevard.

2011 February 20
Authorities identify man killed by light-rail train (Minneapolis)
Authorities have identified the man who was struck and killed by a light-rail train in Minneapolis Sunday evening. George Freeman McPhail, age 74, was hit by a Metro Transit train traveling northbound just before 6:45 p.m.. Freeman was struck at the VA hospital LRT station at 5504 Minnehaha Avenue South. This will be the 8th fatal accident that has occurred on the Hiawatha line which began service June of 2004.

2009 September 20
Light-rail train hits car near Star Tribune building (Minneapolis)
A light-rail train hit a car in downtown Minneapolis Sunday morning, but the car’s driver and passenger were not injured. The car’s driver, Nate Becker of Sioux Falls, said he was coming down Fifth Street on the right side of the tracks and tried to make a left turn into the Armory . He did not realize there were train tracks and said he was unfamiliar with the area. Becker and a friend in the car were not injured.  One train passenger was taken away to be checked for injuries.

2009 September 7
Minneapolis Pedestrian Hit by Metro Transit Train (MinneapolisMN)
A pedestrian was hit by a Light Rail train on Sunday night, about 10:30 p.m., on Hiawatha Avenue near 32nd Street East. Metro Transit Police and Minneapolis Police are still trying to determine why the man was walking so close to the tracks. The man suffered a leg injury. He was conscious and talking at the time he was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center.

2009 August 13
Hiawatha Light Rail Train Kills Pedestrian (Minneapolis)
The Hiawatha Line light rail train struck and killed a pedestrian at 1:35pm. The train was traveling at 50 mph. The operator made eye contact with the man before hitting him. Eye contact. Next time, try the brakes.

2009 August 3
Man in Mpls. Light Rail Crash Dies (Minneapolis)
A 22-year-old man involved in a light rail train crash in Minneapolis on Aug. 3 has died from his injuries. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner says Abdirahman Sharif Hirsi, of Minneapolis, died Saturday from multiple blunt force cranial injuries. According to Minneapolis Police, Hirsi attempted to move his vehicle around the stop arm across the track at 35th Street East and Hiawatha Avenue when the train collided with him.

2007 November 21
Light-rail train hits, kills man (Minneapolis)
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.

2007 June 8
Commuter falls to death between cars at LRT stop (Minneapolis)
Waiting passengers at the Franklin Avenue station tried to grab Evelyn L. Cotton as the 79-year-old woman stumbled and pitched forward toward the oncoming light-rail train Friday afternoon. But they couldn’t stop her in time and Cotton plunged onto the tracks between two cars of the train headed downtown. The Minneapolis woman was run over and died at the scene. While police continue to investigate, it looks like Cotton simply lost her balance and stumbled about 1:30 p.m. as she walked toward the train, said Minneapolis police Capt. Mike Martin. “It clearly appears to be an accident,” Martin said Friday afternoon. Her death is the fourth fatality involving a light-rail train since the Hiawatha line began operating in June 2004, and the first time a customer was killed, said Metro Transit spokesman Bob Gibbons.