Boy dies while 'train-hopping' in Minneapolis

7:44 AM, Feb 20, 2012   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS - The mother of a teenage boy who was found dead near railroad tracks in northeast Minneapolis Thursday night wants to warn other kids about jumping on trains.

"These are not toys," said Melissa Standal, the mother of 15-year old Chris Hanson.  "Please stay away from trains and tracks."

Standal says her son had been "train hopping" with friends prior to his death.

Police say a railroad employee found the teen dead around 10:20 Thursday night along the tracks near 14th and Fillmore Street NE.  The Hennepin County medical examiner said Hanson died of head injuries.     

Standal said her son had been hanging out with two friends when he died. She said Hanson and one other friend hopped the train near Hanson's home.  His friend was able to successfully jump off the train.  But her son, when he tried to jump off a little later, wasn't as lucky and lost his life.

She told KARE 11 she knew Chris had jumped on and off trains in the past and had been telling him to stop.

"We just talked about it Wednesday actually," she said.  "And the next day he died doing it." 

Minneapolis Police are investigating the events leading up to the accident, but also remind the public that being near train tracks is considered trespassing.

Meanwhile, the family is holding a candlelight vigil at Northeast Park on Sunday night at 6:30

"He was a fun-loving person who will be missed a lot," said Standal.  "He loved sports and wanted to play baseball in the future."

A memorial fund has been set up.  Donations can be sent to the Christopher Curtis Hanson fund at any Wells Fargo Bank.

(Copyright 2012 by KARE and The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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