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Train Crash Victims’ Families Awarded $24 Million

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On Friday a Minnesota jury handed down a $24 million dollar
judgment to the families of four people who lost their lives in a 2003 Anoka
train accident. Each of the families will receive $6 million, for a total of
$24 million. The families of Brian Frazier, Harry Rhoades, Bridgette Shannon
and Corey Chase against Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF) after it
was suspected that train company withheld vital information about the case from
investigators.

The original
investigation determined Frazier drove his car around the gates and into the
path of the train where it was struck, killing all four occupants. Attorneys
for the plaintiffs argued that the gates did not come down as the train
approached the intersection and that BASF concealed this information from
investigators.

“For four and a
half years Burlington North Santa Fe has allowed us to believe that our son was
driving the car, that he broke the law and went around the crossing arm and
caused his own death and the death of his own friends,” said Christie
Frazier, Brian’s mother.

The railway
maintains that Frazier ignored the warning signals and that they “acted
properly” throughout the investigation. In a statement BNSF expressed their
disappointment with the verdict and sympathy for the families of the victims,
but also announced that they plan to appeal the verdict.