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Officials Urge Safety Around Light Rail Tracks After Deadly Crash

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(credit: CBS) Kate Raddatz
Kate joined the WCCO team in April of 2013, but it wasn't her fir...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Metro Transit is looking into its first major accident after a woman was killed along the Green Line Sunday morning.

The woman crossed in front of a train as it pulled into the Westgate Metro Station in St. Paul, Minn.

Metro Transit says the warning signs were flashing, but the woman, whose name hasn’t been released, may not have been paying attention.

Up until this point there had been 13 minor crashes, but none of them were deadly.

Kate Raddatz looked into safety along the train lines

Around 10:15 a.m. a woman was struck and killed by the Green Line light-rail near the Westgate station.

“May have had headphones on and did not see or hear the train approaching. The warning signals at the crosswalk appeared to be working properly,” Bruce Howard of Metro Transit said.

It’s the first deadly accident in what’s been a string of pedestrians being injured by light rail trains.

On Monday, a man was hit by a westbound Green Line train near the intersection of University Avenue and Chatsworth Street in St. Paul after walking illegally between the lines.

Metro Transit says pedestrians are often distracted.

“Safety is a shared responsibility,” Howard said.

“When I see that a pedestrian has been hit I’m thinking alcohol is involved, or somebody is really not paying attention to what’s going on,'” George Scott of Fridley said.

Signs and lights alert people and vehicles of oncoming trains.

Still, Metro Transit says people should avoid wearing headphones, talking on cell phones or texting while around the tracks.

“I don’t think it’s the trains fault. Or rarely has it been. Even when it was just the Blue Line,” Becky Rose of St. Paul said.

While Sunday marks the first fatal accident on the Green Line, there have been 11 deadly incidents on the Blue Line since it opened in 2004.

“Everyone who is walking, running, or doing business around trains and tracks make sure that they are extra careful,” Howard said.

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