Thursday, August 13, 2009

LRT crash victim dies

LRT crash victim dies
The driver of a car that crashed with a Hiawatha light-rail train has died, the sixth fatality in the line's five-plus years.
Abdirahman Hirsi, 22, died Sunday at Hennepin County Medical Center, the county medical examiner's office said Wednesday. The Minneapolis man's death is considered an accident, and the cause was listed as "multiple blunt force cranial cerebral injuries" from the collision.
On Aug. 3, Hirsi was driving a Honda south on Hiawatha Avenue when he turned west onto E. 35th Street and crashed with a train going south. Witnesses told police that Hirsi went around a crossing arm.
Metro Transit police are continuing to investigate and reconstruct the accident, said Bob Gibbons, a spokesman for Metro Transit. But preliminary results of the investigation include:
•The gate arms were down and working properly.
•The train was approaching at the proper speed, 45 miles per hour.
•The driver passed drug and alcohol tests, as expected.
The driver returned to work on Friday after counseling, Gibbons said.
It is the first light-rail death since November 2007 and the second from a car-train crash.

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