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No. 7 Story of the Year: Man Killed by Train Identified

Willem F. van Vliet, 33, of Dundas, died in September after being struck by a train.

No. 7 Story of the Year: Man Killed by Train Identified

As the end of the year approaches, Patch recaps the biggest stories of 2012—both in terms of pageviews and impact on the Northfield community. The following article was posted Sept. 24, 2012.

  • No. 12 Story of the Year: Northfield Hospital CEO Passes Away
  • No. 11 Story of the Year: Bagel Shop Coming to Downtown Northfield
  • No. 10 Story of the Year: Family Pleas for Stolen Photos of Children to Be Returned


A man who was struck and killed by a northbound Union Pacific train in downtown Dundas late Sunday night has been identified as Willem F. van Vliet, 33, of Dundas.

The investigation into van Vliet's death is ongoing. van Vliet was pronounced dead at the scene, according to Rice County Sheriff Troy Dunn.

  • Read comments on the original story

Rice County Sgt. Jeff Mullenmeister told Patch early Monday morning at the scene that van Vliet was not in a vehicle, but declined to share further detail.

No one has been arrested in connection with the death, according to the Rice County Sheriff's Office, which is the lead agency on the case.

A coroner was called to the scene shortly after midnight where the train remained stopped, blocking intersections from Hester Street to West Avenue/County Road 1. The train left later Monday morning and the intersections reopened.

Also on the scene were Northfield Police, Northfield Fire & Rescue, Dundas Police and the Minnesota State Patrol.

Dispatch received the report of the incident at 11:27 p.m. Sunday.

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