MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Train-hopping was something he had done before, but Thursday night Christopher Hanson jumped off a moving train for the last time.

Hanson died before 10:15 p.m., when a railroad worker told police he found the Hanson’s body near 14th Avenue NE and Fillmore Street in Minneapolis. Hanson was 15-years-old and a sophomore at Columbia Heights High School. His family is asking other teens not to train-hop.

“You may think it’s cool at the time,” Hanson’s sister, Mariah, said. “But when your family loses you, it’s not cool.”

According to Hanson’s family, train-hopping is where you jump on a train when it’s moving slowly and then jump off once it gains speed. Hanson enjoyed the thrill it gave, but it frightened his family.

The night before Hanson died, his mother, Melissa Standal, said she talked to her son and his friends about train-hopping and how dangerous it was.

“The next day, he died doing it,” she said.

Standal said her son was a people-pleaser and was likely showing-off when he died.

Two of Hanson’s friends were train-hopping with Hanson the night of his death. They were able to jump to safety, Hanson was not.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Hanson died of multiple blunt force craniocerebral injuries. The incident happened about 225 feet from a railroad marker.

One of Hanson’s friends told Standal that Hanson went missing after hopping.

Standal hopes young people see what happened to her son and stop train-hopping.

“The consequences are too great,” she said. “They’re not toys, they move fast.”

Hanson’s parents told his friends they could honor Christopher by never train-hopping again.

A fund has been set up to help the Hanson family. You can donate to the family by contacting any Wells Fargo bank.

Comments (15)
  1. scott says:

    Rest in peace Christopher. May we all learn from your mistake. May god help your family and friends.

  2. Man... says:

    Kids will be kids but really…

  3. Learned The Hard Way says:

    The only time I tried to hop a train was at night. As I grabbed the ladder to pull myself up there was a dip in the gravel roadbed and my foot wet out from under me suddenly. I pulled the muscle under my arm so bad that it hurt for weeks, and that was the end of my train hopping. I feel bad for any parent that loses a child in such a way.

  4. big banjo says:

    yo tim, the “fund” isn’t for trainhopping, its for the family who probably is not in the best position to afford a decent dignified burial which runs about 6 grand….and the fact that he was breaking the law has nothing to do with anything, its totally irrelevant……does any of this make any sense to you?.

    1. Tcecil says:

      Hey man shut-up. His dad told him over and over again not to do it. I know this because his dad told me too! And do you think he wanted to put his mom threw this?! Chris loved his parents and he would never want to hurt them.

  5. colheights student says:

    He was a really good friend, I known him since we were both in 5th grade at north park elementary and both had alot of fun at band class. I remember the final time we talked about 5 hours before he died about playing baseball this spring. R.I.P CHRIS HANSON

  6. Michael Clark says:

    AS a railfan, I grieve Chris’s death bigtime. I love watching trains, would never try hopping one and I hate the thought that “fun” for someone may be a lot more dangerous than they realized, and they find that fact out too late. RIP Chris

  7. hmmm says:

    I hopped trains when I was 9,10, 11. Nothing ever happened.

    1. Casey Jones says:

      Dear hmmm,
      You are 100% correct, “Nothing ever happened” You still have the intelligence or
      a 9, 10, or 11 year old child.

  8. Roundhouse Rodney says:

    I once met a railroad worker who was snagged by a piece of wire that was fastened to a moving train. He was pulled between the moving train and a loading dock that had only a few inches of space between them. His back was broken in a couple of different places ending his career. Fortunately for him he lived to talk about it, and after years of therapy he was able to walk again. The thrill isn’t worth the risk.

  9. Wake Up says:

    My thoughts and prayers go out to this young mans friends and family. We’ve all made bad decisions as kids and luckily some of us survived those bad choices and learned from them. I hope and pray that his friends and others who read this story are wise enough to know that risk outweights the rush.

  10. Darren says:

    People have been hopping trains since the beginning. This is nothing new and hundreds of died from it. I don’t know if were lucky or not because now over 50% of the railroads are not there anymore so more people would be killed.

    Kids and teenagers do dumb things, adults do as well. Its part of the life lesson we all learn at some point in our lives. Its just too bad as so often it is someone we know.

    Rest in Peace Young Man. May God be with your family.

  11. Tcecil says:

    Chris was one of my closest friends. We used to train jump and play on those tracks, and one day I got hurt. I told him we shouldn’t do it again. We were such close friends, it’s brakes my heart to think that he’s gone </3 R.I.P You will me missed and we love you bro.

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