Green Line Train Kills Motorist

Preya Samsundar/Alpha News MN

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The crash between a car and the Metro Transit Green Line train claimed the life of the driver a few days after the crash.

Nicholas Redlin Westlake, 29, died Monday according to the Metro Transit Police, reports the Pioneer Press. He passed away at Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

Westlake’s vehicle and a westbound train collided at Eustis Street near Minnesota 280 just after 9 p.m. on Saturday, reports the Pioneer Press. Metro Transit officers arrived on the scene quickly. Westlake was transported to Regions Hospital in critical condition, while a passenger each from the car and from the train were also taken to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

“We are saddened by Nicholas’ death,” Metro Transit Police Chief John Harrington said in a statement from the Metro Transit Police, reports the Pioneer Press. “This is news that we never want to have to give because it means that a life was cut short. It means that there are families, friends and loved ones who are grieving that loss.”

Westlake, an accomplished ballroom dancer and instructor, was returning from a meeting about dance events in the fall with his dance partner and girlfriend Neli Petkova, reports the Pioneer Press. Petkova was a passenger in Westlake’s vehicle and was injured in the crash. She sustained a broken arm which required a four-hour long surgery. She was released from the hospital on Monday.

An investigation into the crash is still ongoing. Investigators will examine whether traffic lights were operating properly, and whether the train operator followed all procedures and traffic laws as he crossed the intersection, reports the Pioneer Press. At the end of the investigation, a report will be filed with the Ramsey County Attorney’s office to decide if charges should be filed against the train operator, a 12-year employee of Metro Transit.

Anders Koskinen