Just feet away from every transit rider’s nose at the Green Line Light Rail crossing along University Avenue at Pascal Street in St. Paul sits a yellow warning sign that has faded with age after several brutal Minnesota winters. The warning reads: “Do not wait here.”
Sunday afternoon the crosswalk warning also marked the very spot a pedestrian lost her life after she was struck by a passing train.
“It’s a horrible situation nobody wants to see happen,” said Howie Padilla, a spokesperson for Metro Transit. “They’re there for all of our benefits.”
According to Padilla, the woman was struck just after 3 p.m. while standing in between the east and westbound main lines. She died at the scene.
It was not immediately apparent to investigators why the woman was in the middle of those tracks, though per standard procedure the train’s conductor was immediately put on paid administrative leave and will undergo testing.
“Taking a breath and getting accurate information is certainly better than getting false information and flaming any fans of rumors,” Padilla continued.
Warning lights and signs were in place, in working order and in plain sight when the crash happened, according to investigators. The crash now serves as yet another reason for transit riders and pedestrians to be cautious and to pay attention to all warning signs.
“Answering all those what-ifs certainly aren’t going to bring this woman back for her family, for her loved ones, for her friends,” Padilla said. “It’s just a grim reminder to pay attention to those warnings. They’re there for all of our benefits.”
The crash stalled the Green Line for about an hour, though replacement buses were provided for riders.
But for many, the reality of what happened on the tracks is too grim to shake anytime soon.
“We want everybody to be safe,” Padilla said. “We want everybody to get through their day safely; we want everyone to go home and be with their loved ones and to be with their friends, that’s what everybody wants.”