Fatality on Brainerd Railroad

A person was struck and killed by a BNSF Railway train during the early morning hours Wednesday, July 11, near Southeast 13th Street in Brainerd, railroad officials reported.

The fatality was reported about 2:35 a.m.

The fatality was confirmed in an email statement from Amy McBeth, BNSF Railway spokeswoman.

"A train struck and fatally injured a person laying on the tracks. This occurred along the tracks, not at a designated crossing. BNSF officers and local emergency personnel responded to the scene," McBeth wrote.

Further details on the fatality were unavailable early Wednesday, but according to witnesses on the scene, the front engines of the coal train came to a stop just east of Southeast 13th Street inside the BNSF Railway yard next to the Northern Pacific Center. The train stretched through Brainerd, blocking nearly every north/south route through the city from Southeast 13th Street to Northwest Fourth Street. Law enforcement officials blocked the crossings at Southeast 13th Street and Northwest Fourth Street, with the crossing arms down and flashing railway lights illuminating the crossings in between.

As authorities were investigating the scene, law enforcement officers were stationed to divert traffic and pedestrians on both sides of the Southeast 13th Street train crossing. Officers at that time could not state what may have happened to stop the train.

The almost nonexistent traffic at 3 a.m. picked up as dawn drew closer. About 4:30 a.m. the train slowly pulled away. Emergency vehicles continued to block the Southeast 13th Street crossing, As the sky began to lighten and morning traffic picked up, vehicles turning from Washington Street onto Southeast 13th Street were being turned around.

Fire department equipment was requested at the scene just before 5 a.m., according to police scanner radio traffic.