MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Hundreds gathered in Northeast Minneapolis Sunday night to remember a 15-year-old boy who died after jumping onto a freight train with his friends.

Candles burned during a vigil for Chris Hanson, the Columbia Heights sophomore who died Thursday night while train-hopping.

A railroad worker found Hanson’s body the night after his mother had warned Hanson and his friends about the dangers of jumping onto trains.

The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that Hanson died of multiple blunt force injuries.

Hanson’s family hopes other teens will honor Chris by not train-hopping anymore.

Comments (75)
  1. Casey says:

    How sad, he was just getting his life on track.

    1. Ash Is not HIS name says:

      hey ash-hole, go get your little bib overall on and go drool over some stupid train car somewhere. God you train freaks are a bunch of nausiating self-import, socially crippled types. Now get out of your mommie’s basement and go out and find a life. Looser.

      1. Brett says:

        Doesnt’ matter WHAT HIS NAME WAS, because NOW he’s DEAD, because he was STUPID. What good is name if you aren’t alive to promote it or if you NEVER ACCOMPLISHED ANYTHING, like SERVING YOUR COUNTRY, paying taxes instead of receiving WELFARE throughout your ENTIRE LIFE, THEN migrating to SSI FOREVER……

        1. @brett says:

          Brett it does matter what his name is.he was a kid. you must be one of the ones who has lived on the welfare and living on ssi since you talk like that the kid was only 15 get a life you bottom feeder.

      2. Kelley says:

        You people are mean and stupid. When you grow up a block away from the train yard,its just something you do. Christopher is/was one of the most amazing young men I have ever met. Exactly what I told him the night before he passed. He never in a million years would of tryed to do this to his mom. He was always there for his mom and all of his wonderful sisters, he would do anything anybody asked. And without the attitude of most teenagers. Maybe you should keep your mouth shut! His father is a good man. I am a mother,student,a full time employee,and daycare provider, and guess what, thats where I grew up and Sid the same thing. I never thought it was dangerous,I didn’t do it to look cool, I did because that’s where I grew up, it was fun. Only if I knew what could happen maybe I never would. I do believe that my children will never make the same mistake that Christopher and so many more have made. This is a horrible accident and the loss of an amazing young man. He will be missed more than words can express. So please keep you harsh,insensitive,and just flat out mean comments to yourself. And hope nothing happens to you!

    2. wow grow up says:

      @ ash
      what the hell is wrong with you???? why do you need to critize a mother who just lost her 15 year old boy. he was a son to a father and a mother a brother a cousin a friend so dont go on bashing him you didnt even know him. you must not have much else to do with your life then go on the news website and guess how some one was raised and what was wrong with the kid you really need some help

      1. Raymond Babbit says:

        I’m great at train jumping.

        1. wow grow up says:

          ?????????? good for you

    3. Brett says:

      That’s what they said about the guy who the cops just gunned down in Superior, Wisconsin, and the guy who got shot by a civilian with a permit to carry a handgun who witnessed a helpless woman getting pistol-whipped on Lake and Nicollet a few months ago. The pistol whipper is dead, the shooter is vindicated, and the pistol whipper’s sister is going to PRISON.

    4. some people says:

      do you know the parent, if you werent so dumb you will know she talked to him the night before about it, at 15 did you listen to your parents and when they told you not to do something you listened? I rarely doubt it. I think it is very pathic that you would come on here and bash a kid that was killed in a tragic accident and he can not speak up for himself. Then you bash his mother? DO you know who chris hanson is? then dont go on bashing him or his mom. get a life

    5. dont know do you says:

      Hey ash the kid was 15 so get your head straight dumby. he was a wonderful kid and very loved, he did not have problems. Casey dont know what they were talking about. OH AND THERE ARE BOTH PARENTS INVOLVED she just talked to him. did you listen at 15? doubt it. and how do you figure she didnt do her job? while your kids out there get drunk adn high are you there?

  2. Val says:

    Yeah, kids, let’s not do dangerous things and break your family’s heart. What a tragic loss. My sincerest wishes to the family. This is terribly sad.

    1. Casey Jones says:

      Thanks Mom. Riding that train…..

  3. Bpath says:

    All of you people need to get over the fact that he was train hopping. He died doing something dumb, sure. It was an accident. Have none of you ever done anything dumb? Risky? Get over it!!! This is a tragety, and you guys should be respectful of that fact, and realize that family and friends may be reading these comments. Have some compassion, you bunch of jerks.

    1. aethelbert says:

      This was NOT an accident. Accidents are unavoidable. This kid was stupid.

      1. Real Talk says:

        What?? STFU. That doesnt even make sense?? By defintion this was an accident. As he did not intentionally kill himself. Pretty simple moron!!

        The kid paid for his foolishness with his life…and you are gonna come on here and call names? Listen Captain Hindsight, the fact you can sit here after the fact and annoymously pass judgement does not make you special, insightfull or wise. If you have doubts about that, go look in the mirror and remove all doubt. You stay classy jurkemoff!!

        1. Brett says:

          Yeah, I did stupid stuff as a “kid”, and maybe could have been seriously hurt or killed, but I never thought that playing “chicken” with a 100 ton locomotive was simply “stupid”. More like SUICIDAL. Maybe the kid should have taken a physics class….

      2. Bpath says:

        Literally the worst thing I’ve ever seen posted on these comment boads, and that is saying a lot. You should be ashamed of yourself, and embarrassed for showing everyone how dumb you are.

        1. Bpath says:

          I was referring to aethelbert’s comment, obviously.

        2. aethelbert says:

          Are you saying that he “accidentally” jumped onto a moving train, waited for it to speed up, and jumped off to his death?!?

          Reserve the word “accident” for the person who gets into a car crash by hitting a hidden patch of ice.

          This kid’s death was 100% preventable, and Darwin has run its course.

          1. Real Talk says:

            Let me use an analogy your simple mind can understand aethelbert.

            It would be like attempting to shoot an apple off your head, except i miss and shoot in between the eyes. Was it a dangerous activity? Yes. Was the intended result your dealth? No. There for it was an accident, albeit preventable.

            So yes buddy, this wasnt a lightning strike or some random freak occurance. But to sugges that makes this anything less than an accident is so ignorant. I’m sure your group home leader and case worker will want to have a talk with you about it.

            Ps….you are so stupid. You used the word “Darwin” as a verb. “Darwin has run its course.” ????? That isnt even English!!! Perhaps you meant Darwinism?? If i was as dumb as you…and keep in mind i’m not calling you dumb because of your view….i’m calling you dumb because of the absurd nature in which you support your views. But if i was as dumb as you, i would remove my DNA from the collective gene pool ASAP. Perhaps train jumping could be your next big adventure!!!!

            1. aethelbert says:

              Thank you for the amateur psychoanalysis. I’m glad you were able to get that off your chest.

              In your analogy, that too is no accident. It was preventable. We have a different definition of the word.

              In my sentence, Darwin is not a verb. Run is the verb. Idiot.

              1. Real Talk says:

                Listen up Short Bus. In your example of the car hitting the patch of ice. Did someone force the driver to get behind the wheel in bad weather? Didn the driver choose to take to the roads even though the posiblity of ice existed. Therefor it WAS preventable and not even an accident by your limited defintion.

                I doesnt bother me you have are a prick. It is the fact you are too dumb to understand how your own logic is flawed. And yet dispite that fact, you retain the right to live, exist and possibly vote. Now THAT is a shame.

                And again Short Bus….look up the term psychoanalysis. I was just name calling. Now if i were to speculate the reason you are so dumb is that your mommy didnt hug you or your daddy “hugged” you too much…that would be a psychoanalysis.

                Time to get a new dictionary kid.

                1. Bruce says:

                  Now were down to name calling etc. Usually means the writer no longer has anything productive to say.

                2. aethelbert says:

                  Yeah, pretty much. Victory!

                3. Brett says:

                  Real, you said it right. You just can’t fix STUPID, no matter how hard you try. You can threaten an idiot with death, and they still can’t see the light. All they care about is there own personal thrill, or to get put on YouTube, or some other stupid social media, because they have no one else to relate with, due to a lack of SOCIAL or COPING SKILLS. So YEAH, let’s all do some train hopping, and play chicken with a 100 ton locomotive and all of the weight behind it. Brilliant.

      3. Bruce says:

        Yep, it’s a split society. Those of us who respect the laws no matter how stupid or unfair we think they are and those who don’t. The train hopping law isn’t on the books to keep footprints of the trains, it’s there to prevent things like this from happening. I feel so bad for the mother. There are enough ways for a parent to lose a child. This should not have been the way she lost hers.

        1. Bruce says:

          “off” not “of”

        2. Bpath says:

          So what’s your point? Are you criticizing the boy for doing something that the law prohibits? Are you sure he knew it was against the law? Even if he did, do you think that makes this any less tragic? Are you saying you think he deserved what happened? Did you ever do something stupid when you were his age? You say feel bad for his mother, yet you write something in your comment that if she were to read, would likely hurt her deeply. That doesn’t make any sense.

          1. Bruce says:

            Whats my point? Of course I don’t think he deserved it BUT neither do his family and friends deserve to be going through what they must be. You can’t see how preventable this tragedy could have been? Listen to your parents and obey the laws. You don’t have to be a geek to do that. Pretty simple.

            1. Real Talk says:

              Congrats Einstein, you’ve successfully put 2 & 2 together and realized this was a preventable dealth. You must be really proud of your analytical abilities. Wow, you might in fact be the next coming of Christ!!!!

              Here is an idea for your genius mind. How about you STFU?? Unfortunatly not every can be as perfect as you and “listen to your parents and obey the laws” 100% of the time. Sometimes people exercise less than perfect judgement. Is this the first time in your life you’ve been made aware of that fact?

              You were right about one thing. It really is a split society. Those who live in the real world and have some semblance of an understanding of life….and little girls named Bruce.

            2. Bpath says:

              Thanks Bruce, for pointing out the obvious. Why don’t you just lay off this family. Why are you trying so hard to slam this kid? What is your motivation? Tell me how this is different than climbing a tree in your neighbors yard without permission, and falling to your death? Its dangerous, and not obeying the rules. The end result is the same. Who cares how and where this occured. Accidents will always happen, except to Bruce, apparently.

          2. Brett says:

            Yes, he deserved to DIE. He played “chicken” with a 100 ton locomotive, towing a long line of cars, and LOST. Even my late DOG wasn’t STUPID ENOUGH to DO THAT. His mother? Didn’t even see her shedding a tear, it was almost like she was glad to see it happen.

            1. @brett says:

              hope your kids die in alot of pain so you suffer to

      4. js says:

        Tell that to one of your family members when they’re killed in a car accident. Moron

  4. Linda says:

    Please show some respect for the family’s terrible loss. Is that so hard?

    1. likesCCO says:

      Totally agree with you Linda. However stupid it was of this young man to be doing what he did, he was still their son and brother and this is a tragic loss for all of those involved. If you have nothing but negative comments to make, don’t post here where his family might see it.

  5. rude says:

    I read through the comments and wow some of them are rude. This has nothing to due with the parents lack of parenting. He was a teenager and we all know what it’s like growing up. We’re told something and if it’s fun I know I did I went against their words. It’s a tragic accident and I feel for the family of this kid along with his friends because that would be very traumatizing. They really need to have more programs aware of that. I know in some cities it’s illegal and not sure if that’s state wide.

  6. Jennifer says:

    I can’t believe how cruel and insensitive some of these comments are. Yes, train jumping is stupid. Think back to when you were a teenager and the things you did for fun. When you’re a teenager there is a tendency to feel invinible. I remember doing incredibly stupid and potentially dangerous things with friends and never considered that we could be hurt.

    Christopher’s mother urged him not to train jump. She tried to warn him that it’s dangerous but he didn’t listen and it cost him his life. She could not watch over him every moment of every day. No parent can do that.

    Please know that many of his family and friends are seeing these comments and how you would feel if it were a child in your family that had died.

    1. mr.obvious says:

      Maybe my parents raised me right. I never got the urge to do stupid and or dangerous things. I was too busy with sports and school work.

      1. Jennifer says:

        It must be nice to sit up there on your high horse and bash a mother and father who have just lost their son. Your parents raised you right? I guess tact and sensitivity weren’t important in your family because you seem to be without both.

        1. mr.obvious says:

          Sensitivity and tact. Nope sorry. Can’t feel for stupid.

  7. aethelbert says:

    Real Talk needs a hug. And perhaps a job. Certainly a personality.

    1. Brett says:

      How about a little COMMON SENSE?? That *might* help, but maybe not in your case.

    2. Real Talk says:

      Really?? I need a hug? You are the coward posting annoymously talking about this accident was Darwinism and the kid got what he had coming. Yet i am the one in need of a hug? Hows that logic working for ya?

      Back to the question you avoided because you were too stupid to respond: In your example of the car hitting the patch of ice. Did someone force the driver to get behind the wheel in bad weather? Didn the driver choose to take to the roads even though the posiblity of ice existed. No one forced them, if they didnt drive, they never would have crashed it was their voluntary actions that caused it. Therefor it WAS preventable and not even an accident by your limited defintion.

      Or have you re-thought your asinine position and care to ammend your previous statments?

      You need a dictonary and a brain. How is hitting a patch of ice in your car and this instance any different….other than you placing judgement on the activity you personally feel strongly about?

    3. hey aethelbert says:

      I hope you get to experience so much pain and suffering in your life that you will not be able to go on

  8. mr.obvious says:

    2012 Darwin award.

    Stupid/Dangerious stunt = death

    1. js says:

      Whats the point of your comment? To show what an ignorant insensitive moron you are?

      1. aethelbert says:

        No, to show how you and all of the other boys-will-be-boys enabling lousy parents and prior-delinquents on this thread need to quit fishing for back-justifications for stupidity.

        1. js says:

          I think everyone agrees train hopping is dangerous. People are not trying to justify what he did. Why state the obvious? If you or your kid dies speeding, jaywalking, skydiving does it really help if someone says stupid/dangerous stunt=death. Or are you and your family above everyone else? Please put together a real argument if you want to respond.

          1. Brett says:

            OK, I’ll TRY. Skydiving takes something called SKILL and TRAINING, to do well. Trust me, I know, even though I’m no expert, but I have done it. I don’t get the “thrill”, regarding “train hopping”….. Is it the desire to be a hobo? Why would anybody play chicken with a 100 TON LOCOMOTIVE that can’t stop on a dime?
            It’s called BORDERLINE SUICIDAL, because a person is either too bored, too stupid, or too deranged and the medication hasn’t helped. I’d hate to see what would have happed if this teen ever got a driver’s license (gulp),

            1. js says:

              And whats your point? Please read my comment again. What exactly does pointing out the obvious do? I’m sure a lot of people would disagree there’s no thrill in train hopping. No,it’s not “BORDERLINE SUICIDAL”, People die doing dangerous things all time that take skill and training. What people do not need is Captain Obvious to bad mouth a grieving family and their deceased child.

              1. mr.obvious says:

                Not bad mouthing the kid. Just saying. It is all mother natures fault. She is just weeding out the stupid and weak.

  9. @brett says:


    how immature of you to say “cant fix stupid” did you Chris Hanson ????? did you know any of the family? so just go on bashing them and their dead child. yes Jumping trains is not safe but I am sure when you were younger you made sure you did not do antything unsafe correct? every one is sitting here bashing a CHILD who was only 15 what is wrong with you people? I am pretty sure every single one of you are perfect correct? Oh an d your children are just wonderful not having sex, drinking, doing drugs, smoking, or doing any thing wrong that is harmful or against the law when you are not around correct? wait you probabley have such a short lease on them that they have no friends and probabley will turn out to kill all kinds of kids their age as they go into a mental rage. you a complete fricken moran

    1. aethelbert says:

      There has GOT to be a way to make your inane insults shorter. A paragraph is just too much. Be concise!

    2. aethelbert says:

      Moran? I’m a representative from Northern Virginia?

      1. you should be ashamed says:

        your a representative from Northern Virginia???? Wow feel for every one who lives there since your such an ignorant beetch. (spelled in a way so you get it) and they are not INSANE insults. have looked at what you have wrote? your being a complete MORAN about a 15 year old boy. he is not the only one who does this he just was the one who didnt make it out, was it asking for trouble yes but I am sure you have not every done something you should not have do I stand correct?

        You your self should be in his shoes instead since your suspoed to be an mature adult down talking a dead 15 year old boy. I am sure my INSULTS describe your child that is why it bothers you.



          1. mr.obvious says:

            Right on. I can’t feel sad for stupid. I can understand a tragic car accident, illness, etc. But feel bad for the kid who decided to jump trains. Nope.



      3. stupid broad says:


        get a life

    3. Brett says:

      I think that you should read further into the “comments” section, before you embarass yourself ANY FURTHER….

  10. hahahahah says:

    each and every one of you who are bashing a child must not have anything better to do then sit around with your miserable selfs. I actually feel sorry for you. there is no hope for you.

  11. aethelbert says:

    Oh, the slathering.

    I objected to calling this an accident. It was not an accident. it was a predictable, undesired yet very possible result of stupid behavior. It was not an accident.

    You want to call him a fine boy – great. You want to say his parents are sad to see him go – obviously.

    You want to say “everyone does it” – WRONG. You want to say “the parents could have done nothing – they tried, but apparently failed.

    Just be honest and admit that what this kid did was dumb, and preventable.

  12. Lila says:

    Has anyone read his obituary? Looks like he was proceeded in death by two other siblings. What does that say?

    1. Lila says:

      Excuse me, actually three!!!

      1. Brett says:

        WOW. That about says it all. Maybe somebody should start an investigation, though I’m not sure that it would HELP much…

    2. Jennifer says:

      Lila, they were babies. Hope was born stillborn and Elijah died hours after birth. What does that tell you? It tells me that Melissa (the mother) has had to deal with more grief than any person should ever have to.

      1. Lila says:

        Wow. I apologize. I live in the community and heard rumors.
        Whatever the case may be It’s not my place to even comment. My prayers to Melissa and the rest of her family and friends.

        1. Jennifer says:

          Thank you, I really appreciate that. I should stay off of these news sites, being family it’s really upsetting to see some comments but I just want to help clear up any misinformation out there.

          Melissa is a good mother and the deaths of her babies not caused fault by her. I don’t really want to give out a lot of personal information but I can assure you there was nothing anyone could have done. I do understand that it seems abnormal. It is, no mother lose a child, and to lose four is absolutely devastating.

          You would have a difficult time finding children out there who are as sweet and sensitive as her children. Chris was such a well liked, sweet boy. His passion was playing baseball and he was overall a good kid, he just made a really bad decision. As Melissa said, he was a people pleaser, he likely did this with friends because he wanted them to think he was cool.

          1. brett says:

            Hey there are 4 reported you only metioned 3 what happened to the other?

            1. Jennifer says:

              Two of the babies died before being born, Hope & Jonah. Sorry I thought I had put both in my original post.

      2. Brett says:

        what about the forth? you only accounted for 3

        1. Lila says:

          The fourth would be Chris.

  13. Lila says:

    Right? I was reading through the obituary and I took a double take.

    Maybe it’s extremely ironic.

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