Sep 062011
Authors: Matt Miller and Erin Udell

A 17-year-old Colorado State University student is in serious condition today after her legs were reportedly severed at the knees when she fell from a freight train in Longmont Monday afternoon, said a statement from the victim’s family.

The victim, Anna Beninati, is currently being treated at Denver Health Medical Center, where she was airlifted following the incident.

Kathy Poiry, a Firestone resident and registered nurse, was idling in her car around 1 p.m. Monday as a train passed the Longmont intersection of 3rd Avenue and Atwood Street when she saw what appeared to be a bag drop from the railcar.

Soon, in the minutes after seeing people rush to the tracks, Poiry learned that it was not a bag after all, but Beninati, a freshman from Sandy, Utah.

“In my mind, I just couldn’t believe it was a person,” Poiry said. “I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Beninati was trying to hop aboard the northbound Burlington Northern Santa Fe train with three male friends when she slipped, severing her legs at the knees.

Charles Hamilton, 25, of Gillette, Wyo., was identified as the friend who pulled Beninati from underneath the train.

Poiry, who has been a nurse for 25 years, said she kept applying pressure to the wounds while others asked Beninati, who was conscious throughout the ordeal, questions about herself.

“She kept asking if she was going to die,” Poiry said. “We kept saying no, which is good because apparently she’s doing well now.”

“We are grateful to the outpouring of support for our daughter following this horrific accident yesterday,” read a statement released by Beninati’s family. “From the first responders and transport teams, to the hospitals both in Longmont and Denver, we are thankful to everyone who came to her rescue.”

The statement went on to express gratitude to all of the bystanders who helped Beninati at the scene.

News Editors Matt Miller and Erin Udell can be reached at

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