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Woman killed in Detroit Lakes train accident identified

Becker County Sheriff deputies, Detroit Lakes Police officers and St. Mary's EMS workers work the scene of a pedestrian/train accident near the intersection of Highway 10 and Washington Avenue in Detroit Lakes, Minn., Tuesday morning. A 35 year-old Detroit Lakes woman was killed by a westbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe train as she tried to "beat the train" across the tracks, according to police. The woman was carrying the stuffed animal in the police car. Brian Basham/DL Newspapers

A Detroit Lakes woman was killed Tuesday morning by a train at the Washington Avenue crossing.

A Burlington Northern Santa Fe train struck Shannon Marie Bugge, 35, of 1318 Lori Avenue in Detroit Lakes, when she was attempting to cross the railroad tracks.

The Becker County Sheriff Department received a 911 call at 10:39 a.m. that a train had struck a pedestrian.

Detroit Lakes Police Chief Kel Keena said, according to the two Burlington Northern Santa Fe train engineers -- the westbound train hit the woman and the eastbound train was witness to it -- said it looked like "someone just trying to get across the tracks."

Bugge had met a friend from Mahnomen at the Amtrak station and was on the bench talking to him when she decided to run across the tracks and buy cigarettes. She was hit after she purchased the cigarettes and was returning to her friend at the depot.

All railroad warning devices were active and working properly, and the westbound train that hit the woman was blowing its whistle while applying its emergency braking system.

Melony Stainbrook, employee at D.L. Tobacco, where the victim had purchased cigarettes, said she "heard a guy yell and a white car pulling up."

Keena said the car was just a passerby and possibly who called 911.

Stainbrook said she "can't say positively because I didn't see the body," but she's sure she knows the victim. "Oh my gosh. She's a customer of mine. I know my customers by what they buy."

Just down the block, Jeff Janke, owner of Janke Sew and Vac, said he also saw the white car pull up and then cop cars. He was on the phone at the time and didn't really know what was going on. He said at first he thought it was the police chasing someone.

Stainbrook said the woman had a television with her and had called the transit system to get a ride with the television.

Keena confirmed that the man from Mahnomen had given the woman the television for her birthday.

She also had a stuffed animal with her.

"She thought she could make it I suppose," Keena said. "I don't know."

He said around 11:30 a.m. that police were waiting for Burlington Northern Santa Fe officials to arrive, take pictures, interview witnesses and a crew from Glyndon to come move the train. He hoped the crossing would be open over the noon hour.

The Minnesota State Patrol, Becker County Sheriffs Office, Detroit Lakes Fire Department and officials from BNSF railroad assisted the Detroit Lakes Police Department.