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Winona State student fatally hit by train early Sunday

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A Winona State University student was hit and killed by a train early Sunday morning.

The student, who the university identified as 25-year-old Derek Bute, fell on the tracks at the Huff Street railroad crossing around 1:24 a.m. Sunday, the Winona Daily News says, and was hit by a Canadian Pacific train that was traveling west, the Star Tribune says.

Police found Bute and he was transported to Winona Health in an ambulance, where he was pronounced dead, News 8000 says.

No other details on the incident have been released.

Bute was an exercise science major from Alden, Minnesota, the school notes. He also was a medic for the Army National Guard, the Star Tribune says.

In a statement, Denise McDowell, the vice president for enrollment management and student life said: "Derek was a valued member of our community of learners."

"As we come together for the spring semester, I ask that you keep Derek and his family and friends in your thoughts, and I encourage you to reach out to those who may be in pain and support one another during this difficult time," McDowell adds.

The university plans to make counseling available for students, the Winona Daily News notes.

Those who knew Bute have been sharing their condolences on Facebook and Twitter.

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