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Former NHL Player Dies When Struck by Minnesota Museum Train

(Shoreview, Minnesota – April 29, 2011)

A 54-year-old St. Paul, Minnesota resident, former National Hockey League Philadelphia Flyers player, and well-respected hockey coach Jim Cunningham, was hit and killed Friday afternoon by a train owned by the Minnesota Transportation Museum as he walked along railroad tracks in this Ramsey County community.

The train, which was transporting vintage railroad cars from the museum’s roundhouse in St. Paul to its Osceola, Wisconsin summer facility, was rounding a curve in the railroad’s yard area when the engineer spotted the victim standing along the tracks, possibly taking a photo. The engineer sounded the train’s horn and hit the emergency brakes, but was unable to stop the train in time to avoid the accident. Cunningham, who was killed instantly, was in the Shoreview area visiting family and often went on walks. The family said he had suffered a stroke a few years ago. The Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office said foul play was not suspected.