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Wisconsin Supreme Court to consider civil lawsuit tied to Elm Grove train rescue

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MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - The State Supreme Court said Monday it would consider a civil lawsuit filed against a railroad in a dramatic 2009 rescue when a train hit a minivan in Elm Grove.

A circuit court had ruled that a civil suit was not allowed by federal railroad laws, but a state appeals court reversed that decision in March.

Former Elm Grove officer John Krahn saved Monica Ensley-Partenfelder, after she drove her mini-van onto railroad tracks in heavy traffic, just before Elm Grove's Memorial Day Parade was about to begin in '09.

Krahn and her husband Scott Partenfelder were seriously injured as they were saving the couple's 2-year-old son, just as the 94 car train hit the van and threw it for a short distance.

Monica and the child escaped unharmed.

The Partenfelders and Krahn both sued the railroad, seeking damages.

The railroad argued that the appellate court ruling allowed local governments to control train speeds when traffic might be near railroad tracks -- even at relatively mundane times.

The Elm Grove parade was abruptly canceled after the crash.

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