(Minneapolis, Minnesota – April 16, 2016)
An 11-year-old north Minneapolis boy lay in critical condition with the loss of one leg, heavy trauma to the other, and head injuries at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, MN late Saturday, after he and two friends, ages 10 to 13, were seen hopping slow-moving Canadian Pacific train cars as they played near the an unfenced or otherwise protected from public access area near 44th Avenue and Bryant Avenue, adjacent to the city’s Webber Park.
The victim was later identified as Quentin Moore and the horrible tragedy removed his leg below the knee.
Neighbors in the residential and commercial area near the scene watched in horror as the 11-year-old slipped from his grasp of the train and was subsequently dragged and run over. The train crew, unaware of any problem, continued on toward its St. Paul destination after originating in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The crew stopped the train after CPR officials were notified of the tragedy.
Twin Cities CBS affiliate WCCO-TV Reporter Nina Moini, noting the fact that “nothing physically stands between the train and Bryant Avenue North” , even though “On one side of the Canadian Pacific railway, a fence with locked gates puts a barrier between Webber Park and the tracks.”
“Neighbors who saw the accident told WCCO they’re hopeful it will shed light on the need for safety measures surrounding the tracks that run through an area full of children,” Moini added.
Minneapolis Police had been notified of the trio of children seen hopping on and off moving rail cars, but arrived on the scene too late to prevent the tragedy. MPD Spokesman John Elder told Liz Sawyer of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that officers who had medical training and were carrying tourniquets were able to control the victim’s bleeding until emergency workers arrived, and that their swift action probably saved the child’s life.
Phillip Murphy, the owner of a nearby flower shop, told the Star-Tribune reporter that “The few folks here were in shock. A woman that first came upon the boy and realized his leg was gone” was among them as the train had already left the scene by the time help arrived.
That woman turned out to be Nicole Coleman, whose home borders the rail property and who told WCCO that “I see it all summer. And every day, if I’m out here, they (the children) be running over there to beat that train,” she observed. “So wide open; They need to do something about that,” she advised.
Meanwhile, as MPD and Park District Police were joined by CP Rail authorities to conduct their investigation, WCCO’s Moini was awaiting an answer to her question of city authorities about “the reason behind those specific safety measures (or lack thereof) along the train tracks.”