Seven hurt in crash between light rail train and car in Minneapolis

A rider boards a Green Line light rail train.
A rider boards a Green Line light rail train in St. Paul.
Tim Nelson | MPR News 2016

Updated: 11:15 a.m.

Seven people were hurt when a car and a light rail train collided near U.S. Bank Stadium Monday night.

The injured included two people in the car struck by the train. Metro Transit reported one of the car’s occupants was critically hurt. Five people on the train suffered minor injuries.

The crash happened at about 9 p.m. at Fifth Street and Portland Avenue. Video posted on social media shows a sedan driving south on Portland and entering the intersection as the traffic signal facing the car turned yellow.

The video shows an eastbound light rail train entering the intersection — also as the light on Portland is yellow — and hitting the passenger side of the car.

The train pushed the car into another train stopped on the east side of the intersection, a block from the U.S. Bank Stadium light rail stop.

“An investigation by Metro Transit police remains ongoing, and the operators involved in the collision have been placed on administrative leave, which is standard operating procedure,” Metro Transit said in a statement late Tuesday morning.

“Light rail vehicle movements are guided by signals along the alignment. As part of the investigation, we will be looking at what the rail and traffic signals at this intersection were showing when the light rail vehicle entered the intersection. An investigation may take several weeks to complete,” the agency said.

Metro Transit said it’s recorded 416 collisions involving light rail trains since service started in 2004 — that includes collisions with vehicle, cyclists and pedestrians. In nine of those crashes, the agency said, “it was determined that the train operator’s actions were a primary cause of the collision.”

One of those past collisions between a train and a car — a 2017 crash that killed a St. Paul man — prompted a state law change that allows train operators to be charged with careless or reckless driving.

Train service was running as scheduled Tuesday morning, according to Metro Transit spokesperson Drew Kerr.