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Teen Who Lost Legs in Train Accident Awake, Joking

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DENVER (AP) — A 17-year-old girl whose legs were severed when she tried to hop aboard a moving freight train in Colorado is in good spirits and has been joking with her siblings at a Denver hospital, police said.

Anna Beninati's family plans to take her home soon to Sandy, Utah, so that she can begin her rehabilitation, Longmont police Cmdr. Jeff Satur told the Times-Call (http://goo.gl/1W1Xg).

Beninati and three male friends were going to Fort Collins, where she was attending Colorado State University, when she tried to hop the train Monday in Longmont, about 30 miles north of Denver. Her legs were detached near her knees when she fell under the train.

Her family said in a statement Friday that she is awake at Denver Health, where family and friends have surrounded her at her bedside.

"Anna's close friends know her by Rush, a nickname she earned from a school teacher not by rushing through assignments, but for her eagerness to see what is next," the family said. "Anna is an adventurer by heart, and we believe this experience will make her stronger on her next adventure."

The family added that Beninati has a passion for music and had chosen a music therapy major at Colorado State to eventually work with children with autism spectrum disorders.

Police cited two of Beninati's companions, age 17 and 25, for trespassing on the Burlington Northern Santa Fe's right-of-way. Police said they planned to issue a trespassing ticket to a 21-year-old who was in the group, but they haven't been able to locate him.

Satur said this week that Beninati would not be cited.

"We're a compassionate police department," he said, noting that Beninati has more important things to worry about.

___

Information from: Daily Times-Call, http://timescall.com/



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