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Colo. student loses legs while train hopping

Associated Press / September 7, 2011

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DENVER - A 17-year-old girl whose legs were severed while trying to hop a freight train was trying to get back to Fort Collins, Colo., where she attends Colorado State University, after a trip to Denver, police said yesterday.

The teen’s legs were detached at the knee when she fell under the train on Monday in Longmont, Colo., about 30 miles north of Denver and 30 miles south of Fort Collins.

Her name hasn’t been released. Her parents live in Sandy, Utah, Longmont police Commander Jeff Satur said yesterday.

The girl repeatedly asked if she was going to die, said Kathy Poiry, one of two nurses who happened to be nearby and rushed to the girl’s aid.

“I kept telling her she was not going to die,’’ Poiry told the Longmont Times Call. “We told her she was going to lose her legs. We didn’t sugar-coat it for her.’’

The girl and three male companions got a ride in a car from Denver to Longmont earlier Monday and planned to ride the Burlington Northern Santa Fe train the rest of the way to Fort Collins, Satur said. Investigators don’t know how they got to Denver, he said.

Dell Rae Moellenberg, a Colorado State University spokeswoman, confirmed the girl is a student there but said she couldn’t release any other information.

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