(Anoka, Minnesota – September 7, 2014)
A BNSF railroad crossing where four young adults between the ages of 20 and 17 died in a September 26, 2003 car/train tragedy in the northern Twin Cities suburb of Anoka, MN was the scene Sunday evening at about 8:36 P.M. of another train-related death, this time involving a pedestrian at the BNSF/Ferry Street grade crossing.
The victim this time was a 16-year-old girl who was crossing BNSF Railway tracks at or near the crossing, which accommodates 44 BNSF freight and Amtrak passenger trains daily at a top allowable speed of 75 mph. Carolyn Gallagher, believed to be from Anoka, MN, died from multiple blunt force injures after she was struck by the freight train according to the Anoka County Medical Examiner.
The controversy as to exactly where the victim was struck came when the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said she was on the crossing, while a BNSF representative told WCCO-TV, the CBS Twin Cities affiliate, that the pedestrian was not at a designated crossing.
A team of attorneys, including Bob Pottroff of Pottroff Law in Manhattan, KS, represented the survivors of the 2003 accident, winning a jury verdict that awarded each of the four victims $6 million in wrongful death damages, and in March, 2012, that decision was upheld by the Minnesota Supreme Court.
There have now been five fatalities suffered from four total accidents occurring at the BNSF/Ferry Street intersection in Anoka.