BNSF settles in Anoka crashby Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A long legal battle for the families of four young people who died in a train crash in Anoka is over after the railroad decided not to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Twenty-year-old Brian Frazier of Newport was driving the car a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train hit the night of Sept. 26, 2003. Frazier and three others were killed.
Bob Pottroff, the attorney who represented the families in a lawsuit against the railroad, says the settlement in the case is worth about $30 million dollars. But he says he expects they'll continue working to make sure such an incident never happens to anyone else.
"For most of them it's only the beginning of some serious advocacy for some change in railroad safety," Pottroff said. "There's some pretty strong-willed people here, and I don't think they're going to drop the push to improve railroad safety."
Potroff says the case is significant because of financial sanctions a judge placed on the railroad for destroying and mishandling evidence in the case.
BNSF spokesman John Ambler confirmed the railroad isn't appealing the settlement.
"We continue to have deep sympathy for the families and are sad for their loss," he said in a written statement.