Minnesota train-pedestrian fatalities at 10-year highby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Minnesota transportation officials issued a safety alert on Thursday after two pedestrians were killed by trains this week.
The state has already recorded 11 train-pedestrian deaths this year, which is the highest number since 1999, the Minnesota Department of Transportation said in a news release.
A 51-year-old man was killed Monday in Winona after he fell while crossing railroad tracks and was hit by an oncoming train.
On Tuesday, a 24-year-old man was killed at a crossing west of Litchfield, and officials have said he might have been wearing headphones that prevented him from hearing the train's whistle.
MnDOT and Minnesota Operation Lifesaver, a train safety group, are reminding people that only 30 percent of public rail crossings in the state have active warning devices. Officials also said it's difficult to judge a train's speed or distance.
Walking or riding on tracks in areas that are away from designated crossings is considered trespassing in Minnesota.