RWU Fallen Rails Program

Railroaders Killed in the Line of Duty

Our brothers & sisters continue to be killed on the job and what we see from the railroads are continuous testing harassment and ineffective "blame the worker" safety programs.

We must continue to build the rank-and-file solidarity that will empower us to take real action when it comes to on-the-job safety. Meanwhile, RWU will continue to honor every fallen brother or sister, regardless of craft or union.

By no means can we guarantee that our list below is complete, but we will try to make it as complete as possible and it will remain a work in progress for quite some time. If you know of anyone that we missed on this list, please email the webmaster with the information. At the bottom of this page you will find some links to various railroad injury & fatality references. Thanks.

Unfortunately, according to OSHA statistics, there are an average of 13 on-the-job fatalities in the entire U.S. workforce each day.  Over 4,800 workers were killed on-the-job in 2015.

Although by law, we are entitled to a safe workplace and it is our employers’ responsibility to provide it, we are continuing to see less enforcement of the safety laws by the government agencies who are required to enforce those laws.  The current administration and Congress continues to strip enforcement capabilities by reducing the powers and budgets of those vital agencies. 

Also, we continue to see the reluctance of corporate owned, national media to focus any light on workers’ fatalities and injuries and the glaring lack of enforcement of safety regulations. 

As a part of our efforts to promote safety for all railroaders, we also want to help promote safe work sites for all workers.  In that effort we work to publicize ALL on-the-job fatalities.

The blog, CONFINED SPACE, is a newsletter of workplace safety and labor issues.  We heartily recommend it.

** If you are searching for information about deceased railroaders, please note that RWU has no more information than what is posted here.  Some historical records of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen (BRT) can be found HERE.  You can search online HERE.  Or you can contact the National Association of Retired & Veteran Railroad Employees (NARVRE) HERE.


September 25, 2019 - Montgomery County VA - A 40 year old Norfolk Southern employee was killed in a tragic work accident while driving his NS fuel truck. Keith Whited was a member of BMWED Affiliated System Federation Local Lodge 571 and was a 10 year NS employee. According to a sheriff’s office Captain, an investigation showed that the Norfolk Southern truck over-corrected while trying to maintain control on the windy road and the truck crossed the center line and struck an oncoming SUV. Whited is survived by his wife and two stepsons.

September 6, 2019 – Shreveport LA – A 36-year-old Union Pacific employee was killed while working as a conductor. Bruce “Andy” Dominique Jr. was reportedly walking beside his train when it collided with a semi-truck at a crossing and the truck wrapped around the front of the locomotive and pinned Dominique in the cab of the truck.  He was survived by his wife, father and brother.

August 20, 2019 – Beaumont TX – A Union Pacific employee was killed when he was crushed between two rail cars during switching operations.  39 year-old Travis “Bowie” Andrepont of DeQuicy, LA,  had reportedly jumped from one cut of cars to prevent a tank car from rolling into the cars he was riding.  He had worked for the UPRR for 16 years. He was survived by his wife and three children.

August 15, 2019 - Vaughn Ontario - A 27 year-old employee of the Canadian National Railroad was killed in a yard switching accident at the CN MacMillan Yard. Imraan Qamar died when a car derailed and overturned and trapped him underneath.

May 17, 2019 – Pueblo CO – A 27-year-old, employee of Rocla Concrete, Joel Montoya, died when he was trapped between two rail cars while yard workers were reportedly moving train cars. Rocla is a supplier of pre-stressed concrete crossties and switch ties for the railroad industry. Montoya was married and the father of two. The unfortunate fatality is being investigated but is considered to be an accident.

May 10, 2019 – Elmendorf TX – A CRU Rail Services employee was killed, and four others suffered thermal injures in the explosion of an oil tank car and the resulting flash fire.  Gary Garza was trapped inside and killed while in the process of cleaning residue inside the oil tanker. On May 13, Roger Noriega, 42, died at Brooke Army Medical Center from severe burns and a cable that had been impaled in his side as a result of the explosion.

April 18, 2019 – Romulus NY – An employee of Andersons Rail Group was killed after being struck by a train.  Thomas J. Horn, 46 of Romulus, and another employee were moving rail cars at the former Seneca Army Depot when possibly fell and was struck.  The FRA and NTSB are investigating.

April 12, 2019 – Wauhatchie TN – A 24 year, mechanical department, CSX employee was killed in a train accident in Chattanooga.  Allen Lowe, of Erwin TN, was struck and killed while working in the rail yard.  Lowe was a father of two, one of which is a son who will graduate from high school this year. The NTSB and FRA are investigating.

April 2, 2019 – East Chicago IL – A seventeen-year employee of ArcelorMittal was killed at the Indiana Harbor steel mill when the locomotive he was operating struck a railcar on an adjacent track.  Edwin L. Fleming, 49 from Schererville IN, died at the scene.  Brother Fleming was a member of the United Steel Workers.

February 7, 2019 – Baltimore MD – A Norfolk Southern (NS) conductor was killed while switching cars at the Bayview rail yard. Brother Keith Leon Gilmore was riding the rear of a cut of cars on a shove move when he was caught between the car and standing equipment on an adjacent track. The NTSB is investigating and issued a preliminary report.

February 4, 2019 – Field BC, Canada – Three Canadian Pacific (CP) employees were killed when their train derailed and plunged off a bridge into icy water. Their 112 car grain train was parked on a steep downgrade with the air brakes applied when it began moving on its own.  The victims were 26-year-old trainee, Daniel Waldenberger-Bulmer from Grand Prairie, Conductor Dylan Paradis and Locomotive Engineer Andrew Dockrell. All three brothers were remembered as by-the-book family men.



December 30, 2018 – Oakley KS – A Union Pacific conductor was killed, just after 9 PM, in an accident near the crossing of US 83 and East Front St.  The UPRR conductor, Jeffrey Hague, was a resident of Bennington KS and a member of SMART TD Local 495 of Salina, KS.  The railroad was investigating the accident but not releasing any details about cause.  A spokesperson did say this is something they don’t often see.  Funeral services were held on Saturday, January 5.

December 15, 2018 – Spencer NC – A contractor died in an accident at the Norfolk Southern Spencer Yard.  According to reports, Kenneth Martin Eder of Carthage was killed when pressed particle boards fell on top of him while he was standing on a freight car that contained steel plates.

December 4, 2018 - Edmondston, New Brunswick (Canada) - A conductor was struck and killed by a train car during a reverse move in the yard. 33 year old Pierre-Luc “Sune” Levesque had just recently been hired by the CN as a conductor and was still in training. Levesque was a member of TCRC, the rail union in Canada.

November 30, 2018 - Estill, SC - A 10 year employee of CSX was struck and killed while doing maintenance on the tracks in Estill, SC. John Youmans was doing welding with a watchman when the accident occurred. Youmans was a member of BMWED Allied Federation Lodge #2167.

November 19, 2018 – Calgary Alberta – A 58 year-old Canadian Pacific Railway conductor was killed after likely being struck by moving equipment on CP tracks adjacent to 9th St Avenue SW in downtown Calgary.  The conductor, later identified as Tony Nenasheff, was a 17 year CP employee. CP Railroad police are said to be investigating.

November 3, 2018 - Chicago, IL - One Metra employee was killed and a coworker was injured during a welding project on the Milwaukee District North line tracks Saturday morning. 17 year employee Omar Solis was fatally injured when a nearby gas tank exploded, critically injuring a coworker. Metra and the FRA are investigating the accident.

October 4, 2018 – Cheyenne WY – Two Union Pacific Railroad train crew members were killed when a moving eastbound freight train struck the rear end of a stopped eastbound freight train 18 miles west of Cheyenne.  The conductor, Benjamin Brozovich, died in the collision and his body was located that evening.  The body of the engineer, Jason Martinez, was recovered the following evening.  The NTSB is conducting an investigation (NTSB Preliminary Report). Both Brothers Brozovich and Martinez were members of SMART TD Local 446 in Cheyenne. [NTSB Issues Safety Recommendations]

September 15, 2018 – Ponton Manitoba – A 38 year-old Hudson Bay Railway conductor was killed and a 59 year-old engineer was seriously injured when their train derailed at a washed-out bridge.  According to reports the train wreckage was discovered entirely by chance by a helicopter and the outside world became aware some two hours after the crash when the helicopter crew was able to find cell service and call for help. The Teamsters Canada Rail Conference has called for a coroner’s inquest and allege in a press release “Both men initially survived the crash, and the injuries sustained by the conductor appeared to have been entirely survivable. But paramedics were not allowed to attend to the wreck site. It is not clear how that decision was made, or by whom. Nine and a half hours after the derailment, the conductor apparently died as a broken bone bled out.” LATER: Brother Anderson’s family speaks out and ask questions.

September 15, 2018 – North Platte NE – The driver of a fuel truck contracted to the Union Pacific Railroad was killed in an accident in the UP Bailey Yard.  Ryan Ziel, 22, was out of the truck when it ran over him.

September 5, 2108 – Baldwin LA - A BNSF Heavy Equipment Operator, Joshua Crocram, died when he fell from a railroad bridge into the Baldwin Canal on the Lafayette Subdivision.  He was a member of Local #2409 of BMWED-AT&SF.

August 13, 2018 – Dallas TX – A conductor for the Dallas, Garland & Northeastern Railroad was killed and found dead pinned under a rail car’s wheels in South Dallas.  Julio Abraham Ariguznaga-Anderson, 33, was moving cars into a rail yard near Cockrell and Corinths Streets and was found by a co-worker after he stopped responding to radio inquiries.

June 21, 2018 – Little Rock AR – An employee of the Little Rock Port Authority Railroad was killed in a collision between a train and semi.  Donald Melton, 62, had been riding the end of the train with another employee when they jumped from the train when they saw the semi was not going to stop at a rail crossing.  Melton was set to retire after 22 years of service and he had celebrated his retirement at a party the day before he was killed.

June 20, 2018 – Hammond IN – A 32 year-old subcontractor for CSX Transportation died after he became stuck in a conveyor belt at the CSX rail yard in the 4600 block of White Oak Ave in Hammond.  Jeremy J. Morris was working alone when the accident happened.

June 13, 2018 – Chicago IL – A company contractor, working at a CSX intermodal facility, was injured and subsequently died in an accident.  Identified as Gabriel Sanchez of Berwyn, he was operating a trailer spotter that moves containers between a semi and a train at the CSX yard in the 2100 block of West 59th St.  He was working for Strictly Trailer Repair – a contracted company at the CSX facility.

June 6, 2018 – Truxton AZ – An employee of Herzog Rail Services was killed when the Herzog train he was working collided with a Burlington Northern train in a remote canyon.  Walter Erickson, 63, of Lenaxa KS was pronounced dead on the scene. NTSB issued a preliminary report.

June 3, 2018 – Atlanta GA – An electrical contractor died while he was performing work for MARTA when he struck by a northbound train. Robert Smith of Griffin was in his work vehicle at the time.  The NTSB is investigating the accident and the family has filed suit.

April 24, 2018- Bowie MD – An Amtrak engineering employee was killed when he was struck by Amtrak No. 86.  Luke Gsell, 20, was working as a lookout for a track crew when he died.  He was a member of BMED Lodge No. 3012.

March 28, 2018 – Sioux City IA – An employee of the Big Soo Terminal was killed in a switching operation with train cars when he was struck and killed by an unmanned rail car.  The employee, Brian McCormick, had worked at the shipping terminal for about eight months.

March 27, 2018 – Sparta WI – A Canadian Pacific conductor was killed in a train accident while working at Cedar Creek Lumber in Sparta.  Robert J. Hemling of Randolph WI was a member of SMART TD Local 590 and leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

March 20, 2018 – East Harlem – New York, NY - An MTA worker fell to his death while clearing debris above subway tracks in Manhattan. St. Clair Richards-Stephens, 23, was a 6-month employee of MTA. He reportedly died when a wooden safety rail gave way and he fell about 20 feet to the lower-level tracks.  He was a member of Transport Workers United Local 100.

March 12, 2018 – Nashville TN – A CSX employee, Quintin Pasley of Clay City, KY - age 59 - was working for CSX out of Wartrace, TN.  Pasley, a 39 year employee, was doing maintenance work when he was fatally struck by a piece of equipment.  He was a member of Lodge #225 of the BMWED-IBT. NTSB issued a preliminary report

March 5, 2018 – Roseville CA – A 52 year-old Union Pacific locomotive engineer died from cardiac arrest at the Roseville yard.  He was Peter Poching from Lincoln CA.  He was a member of SMART TD Local 492 and left behind a wife and two daughters.

February 5, 2018 – Hahira GA – An employee of C&S Rail Services was killed when the truck he was driving was struck by a Norfolk Southern train at the Lawson Street crossing.  The employee was identified as Dexter Brown of Barnwell, SC.  Many in the community of Hahira worked on a fundraiser to help Brown’s seven children.

February 4, 2018 – Cayce SC – An Amtrak train collided into the back of a CSX freight train near Cayce, SC killing two Amtrak employees and injuring more than 100 people. The wreck involving Amtrak Train 91, heading from New York to Miami, occurred at 2:35 a.m. in Cayce, S.C., about 10 miles south of Columbia.  The two killed were Michael Kempf, 54, of Savannah, Ga., and Michael Cella, 36, of Orange Park, Fla. Kempf was the Amtrak engineer and Cella was the conductor.  A follow-up newspaper report told how Kempf had expressed safety concerns to his brother. NTSB issued apreliminary report.

January 16 – Chicago IL – AMTRAK machinist, Martin Rivera, was killed in a mechanical accident near the service and inspection building at the AMTRAK Union Station rail yard, near Canal St.



December 30, 2017 - St Paul, MN - A SMART TD Local 1614 member died while on duty as he worked as a yard foreman at the UPRR Hoffman Yard.  Brother Nicholas Vosejpka collapsed while performing an air test in temperatures well below zero.  He is survived by his two children, mother, two brothers and a sister.

December 22, 2017 - Melville, Saskatchewan - A Canadian National conductor was killed in a switching accident in Melville yard.  Melissa Heins, 26, a three year employee was working a yard belt pack assignment when she was caught in a movement while trying to apply a handbrake.

December 11, 2017 – West Paducah KY – A contract worker was killed in an accident at the TVA Shawnee Fossil Plant. Joshua Shimkus, 36, was an employee of GUMBK and was injured in an accident in the rail yard Sunday evening and died Monday at a hospital where he was being treated. TVA is investigating.

November 8, 2017 - Montreal Quebec - Details are sketchy but the Transportation Safety Board is investigating an accident at the Canadain Pacific Railroad Cote Saint-Luc rail yard where a CP employee, Dimitrios Bakirtzis, was struck and killed while working the St-Luc yard assignment.  Brother Bakirtzis was a member of the Teamsters Rail Conference Canada. 

October 9, 2017 – Toronto Ontario – A Toronto Transit Commission worker died of his injuries a week after he was pinned by two vehicles at an east-end transit yard.  Tom Dedes, 50, was pinned between a vehicle and a train at around 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 1 at the McCowan Yard and was taken to hospital in “very serious” condition.  He worked for TTC for 18 years, most recently as a subway track maintenance employee.  The TTC says Dedes and his co-workers were off-loading equipment from a pickup truck onto a workcar at the yard when he became pinned between the two vehicles. He died after developing an infection that spread rapidly. Dedes’ family wants anyone who works in "risky jobs" to always put safety first. His family pulled the plug on his life support on Monday after an emotionally fraught nine days. In 2018, TTC faces workplace safety charges in Brother Dedes’ death.

September 22, 2017 - Arlington, TX - Union Pacific switchman, Jon Paul Beckman, 48 of Frisco, was with other workers who were trying to switch train cars about 11:24 a.m. and was killed when he was struck by a train.   The incident occurred in the 800 block of Stadium Drive, police said.  Brother Beckman was a member of Local 243 in Ft. Worth, Texas, for 19 years. He served the local as president since 2007 and local chairperson since 2012, and was also the local’s delegate. The SMART TD National Safety Team was dispatched to the scene and is helping the NTSB with the investigation. NTSB issued a preliminary report. Later: NTSB issued an Accident Brief.

July 3, 2017 - Dubuque, IA - A bridge tender for the Canadian National - James P. Wagner, aged 57-  apparently fell from the Mississippi River bridge and drowned early in the morning. Wagner's job included opening the railroad bridge that connects Dubuque and East Dubuque, in order to allow barge traffic to pass through, and he fell from that bridge early Monday.

June 27, 2017 - Washington, DC - While inspecting their train on the CSX mainline, two railroad workers,  Jake L. LaFave of Cumberland, MD and Stephen Wayne Deal of Meyersdale, PA - a conductor and conductor trainee - were killed by a passing train on the adjacent Amtrak Northeats Corridor mainline.  Follow-up news articles regarding the accident are HERE. NTSB issued a preliminary report.

June 11, 2017 – Merrillville, IN – A 48-year-old employee of a contracting company, Best Barricading, was killed in a hit-and-run accident.  Kevin Folleth, of Mason, MI, was struck and killed by a pickup truck while he was erecting barricades and signs in preparation for repair work on a Canadian National railroad crossing.  The driver of the truck was later arrested and charged with leaving the scene of the accident and eleven other counts.  Alcohol and controlled substances in the drivers bloodstream were later determined to be contributing factors to the accident.

June 10, 2017 - Queens Village - A MTA Foreman died when he was struck by the Long Island Railroad 9:36 train from Huntington.  The worker was not yet identified and the NTSB was sending a team to investigate the accident.

April 20, 2017 – Woss British Columbia – Three United Steelworkers members were killed in a forestry train derailment on the Englewood Railway which is believed to be the last operating railway in North America.  Roland Gaudet and Jacob Galeazzi died at the scene and Clement Reti, 62, was airlifted to a hospital but succumbed to his injuries.  The train is operated by Western Forest Products, one of the area’s major employers. The Village of Woss - located in the Nimpkish Valley - is a tight-knit community with around 200 residents. The Englewood Railway of Western Forest Products runs through the village. The accident was believed to have happened when a large load of logs rolled away from the reload yard and collided into a backhoe and rail maintenance care where the men were working. Gaudet, a 27-year worker was the step-father to three and a grandfather of two.  Galeazzi, 20, was the son of the Woss fire chief.  The rail line operation was suspended due to the accident and later in November the line was permanently shut down. According to a WorkSafeBC report, faulty equipment and a long list of mechanical errors caused the 2017 logging train derailment in Woss on Vancouver Island. Canada’s TSB later released their report on the accident.

March 5, 2017 - Granite City, IL - In an accident at the rail yard of the US Steel Granite City plant, 42 year old employee Timothy Dagon, died in a switching accident.  Dagon had worked at the rail yard for 20 years. An OSHA investigator was dispatched to learn more about the accident.  The Granite City plant was shut down in December 2015, but reopened after US Steel decided to bring back workers to operate its hot-strip mill. More than 200 steelworkers returned to work in the mill last month, after about 2,000 workers were laid off during the December 2015 plant shutdown. Dan Simmons, USW Local 1899 President, hailed the re-opening of the plant under dangerous conditions with a bare-bones staff, calling it “good news” and “a step in the right direction.” The mill was reopened following a lawsuit against the company from the USW alleging the “dumping” of Chinese steel onto the US market.  In August 2017, OSHA fined Granite City Steel for creating serious workplace hazards.

January 31, 2017 - Wallula, WA - A Union Pacific Railroad employee was killed instantly in a 5:00 am switching accident at the UPRR rail yard.  Brother John Paul Schneider, 54, of Spokane Valley died of blunt force trauma to the head, trunk and lower extremities.  John is survived by his wife, Karen; two sons, John Patrick and Jacob; two daughters and sons-in-law, Jackie and Dan Cook and Jessica and Brandon Grimmett, all of Spokane Valley; and three grandchildren, Lucy (4), Calvin (3), and Olive (10 months). He also is survived by his sister and brother-in-law, Marcie and Kelly Roberts of Texas; and brother Cliff of Ohio.

January 17, 2017 - Edgemont, SD - Two BNSF Railway employees were struck and killed, around 10:15 a.m. Tuesday, by a train near Edgemont in southwestern South Dakota near the Wyoming border. They were identified as MOW Gang Foreman Richard Lessert, 35, of Black Hawk, and MOW Motor Vehicle Operator, Douglas Schmitz, 58, of Custer. They were "fatally injured while cleaning a switch ... on the Powder River Division," the railroad said on its website. Lessert was a gang foreman who had been with BNSF for 10 years. Schmitz was a motor vehicle operator who had been with the railroad for 39 years. The scene is just north of where the tracks cross under U.S. Highway 18 near Edgemont. BNSF operates a rail yard on the east side of Edgemont. Both men "worked in the Maintenance of Way department, which is responsible for the care and repair of the track that the trains operate on," the website said. NTSB Report

January 10,2017 - Brockton, MT - A Professional Transportation Inc. (PTI) crew van carrying BNSF employees was westbound on US Highway 2 when the driver attempted to pass a snowplow and collided head-on with an eastbound truck. 54-year-old Robert Walter Vann IV, of Minot ND, was killed in the collision.  Brother Vann was a BNSF conductor with thirteen years of service and was an assistant local chairman of SMART TD Local #1059. The PTI driver, another passenger and the driver of the eastbound truck were all transported to a hospital.



November 26, 2016 - Harvey, IL - 38-year-old Tyrone Hardin of Merriville, Indiana was working one of his two armed security jobs at Canadian National’s Markham rail yard yesterday when he was alerted to an intruder. Hardin went to investigate and encountered the armed suspect. There was an altercation, and Hardin was shot.  Hardin was taken to Advocate South Suburban Hospital where he was pronounced dead. He's being remembered as a hardworking husband and father of six. 

Hardin was not an employee of the rail yard, but a contracted security officer. In a statement, CN Railway said:   Multiple police agencies continue to investigate the shooting death of a security officer who was tragically killed Saturday evening while on duty at the CN railroad yard in Harvey. The guard worked with a private security firm that assists CN Police. We would like to express our sincere condolences on this tragic loss to the guard's family, friends and co-workers.

November 24, 2016 - Hope, BC Canada - A CN Rail maintenance worker was found dead 50 kilometers north of Hope.  Michael Stevenson fell from a rail bridge and co-workers found him in the creek below the bridge.

November 6, 2016 -- Brewster, OH - BLET member Larry G. Thomas, a member of Division 292 in Beach City, Ohio, was killed in a yard switching accident on November 6, 2016. He was 37 years old.  An employee of the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railroad (WLE), Brother Thomas hired out as a trainman in October of 2012 and earned promotion to locomotive engineer a short time later. He joined the Brotherhood effective February 1, 2013. According to media reports, Brother Thomas was operating a locomotive by remote control at the WLE yard in Brewster, Ohio, at the time of his death. 

November 3, 2016 -- Brooklyn, NY - Track worker Louis Gray of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) was working as a construction flagger at the time of his death just after midnight in Brooklyn, NY. The accident happened around 12:15 when two employees were working on the tracks between the Fort Hamilton Parkway and Church Avenue subway stations preparing the area for overnight maintenance. The two were hit by a southbound G train as it rounded a curve, pinning both men. Firefighters and EMS worked urgently to save the men, climbing through an emergency hatch in the sidewalk at the corner of East 3rd Street and Canton Avenue, lowering themselves downin order to get to the victims. Jefferey Flemming was injured but survived, while Louis Gray was killed. He was a member of Transport Workers Union (TWU) Local #100.

October 30, 2016 -- Artesia, MS - Conductor Christopher Ross Hubbard, 36, of Cottondale, Alabama, died on the railroad tracks at about 10:30 a.m. Hubbard - who worked for the Alabama & Southern Railroad - was on the ground instructing the engineer of a freight train. The engineer was making a back-up move when Hubbard stopped giving instructions. The engineer had already begun to stop the train when he saw Hubbard lying on the ground. The train was preparing to depart for Tuscaloosa, Alabama, when the accident occurred. 

August 15, 2016 - Jersey City, NJ - A heavy machine operator was killed at the Norfolk Southern rail facility when he was lifting a storage container using a motorized container handler when the freight fell and crushed the cab with him inside.  Jorge Luis Gomez worked for H&M International Shipping which is contracted with NS Railroad. A spokesperson for OSHA said H&M had been previously cited for a safety violation.

June 28, 2016 -- Amarillo, TX - Three train & engine railroad workers - Kenneth Smith, Cody Owens, and Lara Gayle Taylor - were all killed in train wreck in the Texas Panhandle when their trains collided head-on at a controlled point 25 miles Northeast of Amarillo. The wreck - which took place on the busy BNSF transcon - created a large fire and forced the evacuation of area residents. One additional employee survived with injuries and was taken to an area hospital. Owens and Taylor were members of BLET Division 299 in Amarillo. Smith was a member of SMART-TD Local 1313.

May 28, 2016 – Canon City CO – The conductor of the Royal Gorge Railroad Scenic Train fell to her death as the train was nearing the station.  Leslie Cacy, 28, was married for a year to the train engineer, Devon Cacy.  Leslie started at RGRR as the Office Manager in July 2015, and with her bright mind and eagerness to learn, quickly enrolled in the conductor training class. Within two months, Leslie was fully certified as a conductor and was excelling in her position. Conducting was the perfect position for her to exude her extroverted personality, work with/interact with people, and to spread pure joy and excitement amongst each and every co-worker and train passenger she encountered. [Later: Devon Cacy files a lawsuit]

May 12, 2016 - Salt Lake City, UT –  A Salt Lake City veteran Utah Transit Authority train worker who was kidnapped during his shift by a father and son on the run from police died just over two hours later in the wind-swept Wyoming countryside, beaten beyond recognition and his neck slashed, authorities said.  Flint Wayne Harrison and Dereck James "DJ" Harrison left Kay Ricks to die and went to a fast-food drive-thru, prosecutors said in charges filed Tuesday. Ricks was beaten to death by the Harrisons on their way to a remote Wyoming hideout, dodging police who say they tied up five women in a Utah basement. The pair was arrested after a five-day manhunt, prosecutors said. The new kidnapping and murder charges filed in Lincoln County, Wyoming, offer the first detail into how authorities believe the 63-year-old Ricks, a family man, was killed on May 12. Harrison family members were investigated.   In June 2016, Flint Harrison hanged himself while in a Davis County Utah jail.  In September 2016, Dereck Harrison plead guilty to five felony counts of aggravated kidnapping in an unrelated Utah case and in October was sentenced to serve between 30 years to life in prison.  Harrison was to be returned to Wyoming to face charges for the Ricks murder.  Harrison finally extradited in March 2017.

April 4, 2016 - Missoula, MT - Richard Schmitz was killed while working in the rail yard on an ATV. Schmidtz worked for the Montana Rail Link as a car inspector.

April 3, 2016 -- Chester, PA -  Amtrak Train 89, the New York City-Savannah, Ga., Palmetto, partially derailed at Chester, Pa., approximately 15 miles southwest of Philadelphia, on the Northeast Corridor early Sunday, April 3, 2016, after striking a maintenance-of-way vehicle described in news reports as a "backhoe" on the tracks. Two Amtrak maintenance-of-way employees were killed and 35 on board the train were injured, one seriously. Peter John Adamovich of Lincoln University, PA and Joseph Carter, Jr. of Wilmington, DE were struck and killed. Both workers were members of the BMWED and longtime Amtrak employees. Train #89 was heading from New York to Savannah, Georgia, at about 8 a.m. when it hit the equipment that was on the track in Chester. The impact derailed the lead engine of the train that was carrying more than 300 passengers and seven crew members. News reports speculated that there may have been a communication breakdown or that Adamovich and Carter were on the wrong track. Unfortunately we were unable to locate obituaries for them.  Updates:  Files Released & NTSB Speaks Out - NTSB issues a final accident report.

March 28, 2016 - Northlake IL - George Lewkuc was a locomotive engineer for the Union Pacific Railroad. On March 28, 2016 as he was trying to cross tracks at the Proviso Yard in Northlake, IL, the ground and ballast gave way pitching him head first into a rail track. He suffered a broken neck and a traumatic brain injury. He fought for over a month before being declared brain dead and being removed from life support on May 3, 2016. Brother Lewkuc was a member of BLET Division 683 of Chicago.

March 27, 2016 – St Paul, MN -  A rail worker who died after he was struck by a train in St. Paul early Saturday has been identified as a 43-year-old from West Allis, Wis., the Ramsey County medical examiner’s office said. Police were called about 12:30 a.m. to the Canadian Pacific rail yards across the Mississippi River from Holman Field airport, where Jeffrey Harsh had been injured during a shift change, police said. Harsh was crossing the tracks when a slow-moving train hit him, knocking him down, said Sgt. Mike Ernster, a St. Paul police spokesman. Police had initially said he was pinned between two train cars. Harsh was transported to Regions Hospital and pronounced dead. Harsh had sustained a laceration to the back of his head, according to the medical examiner’s office.  Brother Harsh was a member of BLET Division 882 in Milwaukee WI.

[April 3, 2016 - Canadian Pacific workers say colleague's death was preventable] 

[April 3, 2016 - Sister: Man killed by train was longtime railroad worker]

March 1, 2016 - new Brunswick, NJ - Amtrak employee, Dawud F. Bahr, was struck and killed by a New Jersey Transit train. Bahr was killed not far from the Jersey Avenue station in New Brunswick around 4:45 a.m. not far from the Jersey Avenue station, according to Craig Schulz, a spokesman for Amtrak, which is leading the investigation because the incident happened on the company's tracks. The circumstances of the death are not known at this time, but the matter remains under investigation.

February 20, 2016 - New Orleans, LA - A NS Terminal Trainmaster was found dead Saturday after being hit by a train in New Orleans east has been identified as Kyle Liebold, Norfolk Southern Railway spokeswoman Susan Terpay said Sunday (Feb. 20). Terpay said the 25-year-old Norfolk Southern employee died after being struck by a company train. Liebold was working on the rail line south of the Little Woods community when the northbound train hit him after 6 a.m., she said. New Orleans police said the accident happened at 6:22 a.m. along Lake Pontchartrain near Hayne Boulvard and Mercier Street. NTSB issued a Railroad Accident Brief.


November 27, 2105 - Tuckahoe, NJ - A Cape May Seashore Lines employee who fell from a locomotive at the Tuckahoe Train Station died. David J. Gairo, 71, of North Cape May, was working in the locomotive near Railroad Avenue at the train station in Tuckahoe when he fell shortly after noon on Friday, Nov. 27. Gairo was a Past President of the East Penn Traction Club (EPTC) and current President of the Electric City Trolley Museum Association (ECTMA) having served over 20 years in this capacity. He worked as a systems analyst for Unisys in Blue Bell, Pa. for 30 years. Originally from Philadelphia, Gairo graduated from Cardinal Dougherty High School there and served in the Marine Corps Reserve. He is survived by a wife, two sons, and four siblings.

October 11, 2015 - Oakland CA - A Union Pacific Railroad security contractor was killed in a crash while patrolling an intermodal yard in the 1400 block of Middle Harbor Road. Securitas Security Service employee Harvey Jackson, 67, lost control of his company-issued track and crashed at 6:29 am.

October 8, 2015 - New Orleans, LA -  A contract worker who was part of a three-member contract cleaning crew working for Dedicated Trailer Cleaning Services suffocated to death on Thursday inside a rail tanker at the Port of New Orleans . The crew became trapped in the tanker and lost oxygen, but one worker managed to escape and call for help. It's not clear how the crew became trapped.  49-year-old Armond Stack was identified as the worker who was killed. Dedicated Trailer Cleaning Services, which also has locations in Illinois and Chattanooga, Tenn., has a long history of violations under the Occupational Safety and Health Act. OSHA criticized Dedicated Trailer for serious violations discovered in three separate inspections, spanning 2012 to 2014, at facilities in Channahon and Lansing, Ill. The violations pertained to the company's failure to properly train workers who deal with hazardous chemicals, as well as failing to maintain equipment such as gas meters. "The company's failure to safeguard its employees is a consistent and unacceptable habit," said OSHA Area Director Kathy Webb in a January press release. "It must stop now." [CLICK HERE for OSHA report released on April 6, 2016.]

October 7, 2015 - Eastover, SCTwo R.J. Corman contract workers were killed in South Carolina after the truck in which they were riding went off a washed-out road near Columbia. R.J. Corman has deployed storm teams for Norfolk Southern in North Carolina and South Carolina. The company said about 95 workers and equipment were used to help Norfolk Southern repair rail lines damaged in the flooding.  Five men had left a job site about 1:30 a.m. in Eastover, S.C., near Columbia, after repairing track washouts. The men were heading to their motel when their pickup truck plunged onto a blacktop road that had disappeared beneath 10 to 12 feet of water. The truck was washed away. Three of the men were able to get to safety and called for help to find the other two men. The bodies of Robert Bradford Vance, 58, of Lexington, Kentucky, and Ricky Allen McDonald, 53, of Chesapeake, Ohio, were recovered Wednesday afternoon. Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott said Thursday that initially it was believed the driver of the truck moved the barricades off the road, which had been closed for four days because of a washout.  The Sheriff later determined that the victims had not removed the barricades, but that they had been removed by some else.

October 7, 2015 - Ft. lauderdale, FL - A 22 year-old contract worker was working in a train car and was struck by heavy machinery and killed while unloading ballast at the Florida East Coast Railway yard at 3125 S. Andrews Av. in Ft Lauderdale.  He was identified as Victor David Rodriguez Pajan from Miami, FL.  Pajan worked for Gonzalez & Sons Equipment Inc. in Medley, FL.  

October 6, 2015 - Gaston, OR - A worker in the railyard at the Stimson Lumber Mill was killed.  It is believed Antonio Avalos, 46, from McMinnville died when he fell off the front of a moving train which was pushing four empty railcars around the lumber mill train yard.

September 29, 2015 – Kansas City KS - A Union Pacific Railroad conductor working as a remote control operator was killed in an accident at the Union Pacific 18th Street/Armourdale Yard in Kansas City, Kan. Brother Troy Jordan, 49 of Shawnee KS. was found trapped under a rail car in the 2400 block of Bayard Avenue. Police said Jordan was working in the rail yard on a train when he was struck by another train and pinned underneath. Investigators say they think he either got caught or tripped and fell. “It appears he was working on the yard and somehow must have lost track and got struck by another train, moving,” according to an officer with KCK Police. After high school, Jordan graduated from Central Missouri State University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. Jordan hired out with Union Pacific railroad in 2008 and became a member of SMART Transportation Division Local 1403. NTSB issues a Railroad Accident Brief.

September 18, 2015 - Ashdown, ARAn employee of the Domtar Paper Company was fatally injured while working in the shipping department of Domtar as an Equipment Helper for the Switch Engine. As Sister Marie “Velma” Perkins, 51, was working that morning, a rail car somehow lost control and crashed through the side of Perkins’ building, hitting her in the process. Paramedics were called, but Perkins died immediately.  She was a member of USW Local 1327 member and a District 13 Women of Steel activist She was the Secretary-Treasurer of her Local, a safety leader and actively involved in Women of Steel. Sister Perkins worked at Domtar for 24 years.

September 17, 2015 – Leroy Township, MI - The body of a contract employee was recovered this morning from the debris of a grain storage facility after the collapse of a building at a Webberville-area grain facility operated by the Chicago-based ADM Grain Co.  Joshua McGhee, 22, of Petersburg, was found dead around 2:30 a.m. after emergency officials worked for about 13 hours to remove debris at the Webberville facility. He was a contract employee who was working for Industrial Railroad Services. Several employees from more than one company were working near the building and along railroad tracks that run through the facility when the building collapsed.

September 4, 2015 – Auburn, IN - An employee of a firm doing contract work for the CSX railroad company on its double-tracked main line through Auburn, IN was struck and killed at about 11:25 A.M. by a moving CSX train.  The train was hidden from his view by a standing CSX freight train.  Blair F. Hammond 54, of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia, Canada, was working in the company of two CSX employees, walked around the standing train and directly into the path of the train which was hidden from view by the train he had just crossed behind. Hammond was taking a rail inspection machine from the back of the truck he used in his work. He and his co-worker had stopped the truck next to a stationary “grinder train” that was very noisy. Auburn According to Cheryl Harlow, Hammond's girlfriend, police described a video of the accident, from a camera on the train that struck Hammond. “It just shows Blair looking down. He never looked up. He didn’t know what hit him.”

August 23, 2015 - Beech Grove IN - An AMTRAK employee, Andrew "Drew" Swanson, 27 of Attica IN, was killed in an operation at the AMTRAK maintenance facility in Beech Grove.  Brother Swanson was severely burned in the accident & later succumbed to his injuries. An investigation of the accident is being conducted.

August 12, 2015 - Petal MS - A Norfolk Southern Railway employee, Gregory Miller, 20, of Waynesboro MS, died when he was caught between two cars while switching at the Lone Star Gas Facility.  Brother Miller was a recent employee of NS and was a high school varsity football starNTSB REPORT

July 25, 2015 - Homewood IL - A CN Conductor, Ryan D. Edwards of Schererville, IN, died in a yard switching accident at the Canadian National Markham Yard in Homewood.  Brother Edwards hired out in 2011 and was a member of SMART Transportation Division Local 1299 of Schererville IN.  Throughout his carer with the railroad, Edwards worked as an intermodal operator at BNSF and as a freight train conductor at both CSX and CN. While at CSX, Edwards graduated number one from his training class. Edwards attended Columbia College in Chicago. Edwards married his wife, Victoria, May 22, 2010 and welcomed her two children, Edward and Emily, as his own. They later welcomed his son Ryan “RJ” into their family. SMART TD General Chairperson Adren Crawford (Canadian National GO 433) reports, “The NTSB is investigating along with the SMART TD National Safety Team. No details of the incident have been released.  NTSB REPORT

May 25, 2015 - Minneapolis MN – A BNSF Maintenance of Way employee, Tyrell Anderson of Gering, NE was killed in a rail yard accident in Minneapolis. Brother Anderson died of multiple blunt force injuries received while unloading track material. A BNSF spokesperson said that a locomotive passing on another track struck the material causing it to fall on Brother Anderson. He had more than eight years of service with BNSF and is survived by his parents and a son.  NTSB REPORT

April 30, 2015 - Forreston, IL - An R.J. Corman Railroad Group employee was killed Thursday in a railroad work accident in Illinois, authorities said. James C. Campbell, 20, of Prestonsburg, KY suffered a fatal head injury while working along Canadian Pacific Railroad tracks near the village of Forreston.  Campbell was in an all-terrain vehicle near a spot where other workers were using a large magnetic boom to pick up metal railroad spikes along the tracks, the sheriff's department said. The boom somehow went out of control and spun, striking the four-seat vehicle, the sheriff's department said. Officials say Campbell was ejected from the vehicle and injured his head. He was doing private contracting work. Campbell, the only person in the vehicle, died at the scene, officials said.

April 28, 2015 - Roswell NM - Two Southwestern Railroad freight trains collided head-on just after 6 a.m. Tuesday about 10 miles southeast of Roswell, killing one person, injuring another and derailing locomotives and freight cars. Crew member Jesse T. Coburn III, 48, of Texico was pronounced dead at the scene by the Office of the Medical Investigator. The second crew member was transported to Lubbock, Texas for medical treatment and was listed in stable condition. The initial investigation revealed two trains collided when one stationary train positioned northbound on the track was struck head-on by a moving southbound train. The Southwestern Railroad is operated by The Western Group of Ogden, UT.  [The FRA Accident Investigation Report was issued at a later date.] NTSB issued a Railroad Accident Brief.

April 15 - Omaha NE - Two employees of a contract company ,Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Services, hired by GE Capital Rail Services were killed in an explosion while cleaning out a tanker car near First and Hickory Streets about 1:10 p.m.  The force of the blast blew one man off a tanker car and to the ground, while the ladder shot out of the car and left another man trapped.  One of the men was identified as Dallas Foulk, 40, who was lying on the ground when first responders arrived. He died after being taken in extremely critical condition to Creighton University Medical Center.  The other man’s body was extricated from the tank car by Omaha firefighters about 6 hours after the explosion. He was identified as Adrian LaPour, 44.  [On October 14, 2015 the U.S. Department of Labor released the finding on the investigation of the accident. The press release states: "Railcar was unsafe for entry before deadly blast killed two workers, injured a third at Omaha cleaning facility Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Services cited for more than 30 violations after tragedy."]  Read more. [2018 - The U.S. Justice Department announced a 22-count indictment against Nebraska Railcar Cleaning Services]

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan - April 9, 2015 - A CN conductor, later identified as 51 year old Kevin Timmerman from Melville, Sask, died as a result of injuries from an accident while working at a CN rail yard in Saskatoon. He was transported to Royal University Hospital where he later died.  His mother, Joan, was quoted as saying, "He was very conscientious about his job." and that he was looking forward to his retirement once he reached the age of 55.  The Transportation Safety Board (TSB) said it is investigating the accident.

Pine Bluff AR - April 3, 2015 - A Pine Bluff man, Kye Garrett Stewart, 35, was killed Friday night when he was apparently struck by a train while working on it near Evergreen Packaging on Fairfield Road.  He was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Eric Belcher at 10:53 p.m. The cause of death was listed as multiple blunt force trauma and Kelley said the body would be sent to the State Medical Examiner’s Office on Sunday for an autopsy. According to a press release from Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Lafayette Woods Jr., witnesses from Evergreen Packaging said Stewart was coupling several train cars when the operator radioed to him to failed to receive a response. The operator got out of the train, which was carrying at least 35 train cars, and walked toward the rear, where he discovered Stewart, who worked for Grace Railroad Contractors, Inc., underneath the wheels of the ninth car. NTSB issued a Railroad Accident Brief.

April 1, 2015 - HENRICO, VA - Henrico police identified a man on Friday who was killed by a CSX train earlier this week.  Kevin Lee Eskew of Williamsburg was killed on Wednesday at 3 a.m. after being struck by a train. The 54-year-old was pronounced dead at the Acca Yard after being struck by a train. "CSX conveys our deepest condolences to the worker's family and friends during this difficult time," a company spokesperson said. "CSX is providing support to co-workers of the employee. The safety and well-being of our employees is a top priority for CSX, and CSX is working with authorities to fully investigate this incident." NTSB issued a Railroad Accident Brief.

Fairlfield, CA - March 17, 2015 - Alexander T. Sassman, 51, of Loyalton was was killed when a taxi hired by Union Pacific Railroad to transport his crew rolled off the side of a freeway near the Interstate 680/Interstate 80 interchange, according to the California Highway Patrol. The accident happened just after 1 a.m. this morning (March 17) in Fairfield, Calif. Brother Sassman was an engineer & a member of BLET Division 692 of Tracy, CA.  The conductor & taxi driver were taken to the hospital with injuries. The taxi was transporting the two UP employees from San Jose to Roseville.

Oxnard, CA - February 24, 2015 -  BLET Division 20 member Glenn W. Steele, 62, passed away due to traumatic injuries suffered in a Metrolink collision on February 24, 2015.  Brother Steele, BLET Division 20 (Los Angeles), was working as a locomotive engineer for Metrolink on February 24, 2015, when his train collided with an abandoned heavy-duty pickup truck on the tracks near Oxnard, Calif. Brother Steele was in critical condition for more than a week following the crash. His heart stopped twice while receiving medical treatment during that time. The train’s conductor and Steele’s student engineer, also a BLET member, sustained injuries but were released after receiving treatment.


Sept-Îles, Quebec - November 8, 2104Police divers on Saturday morning found the body of train engineer Enrick Gagnon, the sole person aboard a freight train that derailed in Quebec earlier this week. The freight train was towing 240 cars and three locomotives when it derailed Thursday due to an apparent landslide. The train derailed and slid into the Moisie River. (Radio-Canada)  Gagnon, 45, was found on Saturday morning inside the train’s engine room, inside the lead locomotive that ended up completely submerged in the Moisie River. Gagnon had worked for the Iron Ore Company of Canada, the owner of the train, since 1997. [CLICK HERE for news update: March 30, 2016] [CLICK HERE for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada report]

Germantown, NY - October 29, 2014 - An Amtrak worker killed Wednesday after being hit by a train was identified Thursday as Minwella Nicole Kline Hagen, Columbia County Coroner James Bertram said. Minwella, also known as "Nikki," 41, of Coxsackie, was an Amtrak signal maintainer, wife and mother of two young daughters, according to Facebook and authorities. She was working on a section of track between Germantown and the town of Clermont near the border of Columbia and Dutchess counties when she was struck by a southbound passenger train traveling to Penn Station in New York City from Niagara Falls.
The train, which consisted of one locomotive and five cars, was carrying 182 passengers and five crew members and no other injuries were reported, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.
Rail service between Albany and New York City was suspended for about three hours while Columbia County sheriff's investigators and technicians worked at the scene. Bertram and Amtrak police assisted.  NTSB REPORT

Denver, Co. -  October 8th, 2014  - Dawn Trettenero died Wednesday in a railroad switching accident at an industrial complex on the 3200 block of Astrozon Boulevard, off Hancock Expressway, according to a release from the United Transportation Union. Dawn Trettenero, 42, was killed when she got trapped between two train cars at Thompson and Sitz Construction.  Trettenero had followed the footsteps of her grandfather into the railroad business and worked for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway.  NTSB REPORT

Bakersfield, CA - September 6, 2014 - A railroad track repairman has died after attacking his co-workers. The Kern County coroner said Sunday that Carson Peter-Contesse of Sultan, Wash. died at a hospital of causes that remain unclear. Bakersfield police say Peter-Contesse attacked his co-workers from Railworks Track System on Saturday afternoon as they worked on a section of track on the San Joaquin Valley Railroad line. When police arrived, the co-workers were holding Peter-Contesse on the ground and when he was being cuffed officers realized he wasn't breathing and rushed him to the hospital. An autopsy will be performed to find the cause of death.

TEHACHAPI, Calif. - August 17, 2014 - Deputies from the Tehachapi Substation responded to a report of a man down at an industrial complex located in the 1500 block of Goodrick Drive. When deputies arrived they found BNSF employee Robert Limon of Helendale, CA unconscious inside one of the industrial buildings occupied by BNSF Railway Company.  Deputies said Limon was suffering from obvious trauma to his upper body and was pronounced dead at the scene. He was last seen by co-workers at about 5 that night as he left the field to return to the shop. The case is being investigated as a homicide. Brother Limon was a carman on the heavy repair track and also worked as a Rapid Responder. [It was later determined that Brother Limon had been shot several times.] [Police later made arrests & charges were filed: Read Here] [Limon wife goes on trial February 2017] [Limon wife found guilty]

HOXIE, AR -- Aug 17, 2014 - Two Union Pacific crew members and two others were injured following a late-night train collision in the northeast Arkansas town of Hoxie, according to Arkansas State Police.
The accident happened around 2:30 a.m. Sunday morning sending smoke pouring into the sky. Amid fear some of the material on the train cars could be hazardous, law enforcement evacuated some residents in the southern part of town.  Engineer Chance Gober and Conductor Roderick Hayes, died in the accident. Gober is from White Hall, AR and Hayes is from McKinney, Texas. Hayes was a member of SMART Transportation Division 656 at North Little Rock, Ark and Gober was a member of BLET Division 182 in North Little Rock, Ark. [In August 2016, the NTSB issued a determination that the collision resulted for a fatigued engineer and conductor who were both likely asleep.]

North Las Vegas, NV - August 2, 2014 - North Las Vegas Fire Department crews were called to a railcar tanker in the 5000 block of El Campo Grande just after 1 a.m. Saturday. People working on the tanker told firefighters a coworker was inside car, lost consciousness and was not able to climb out. A fire official said the inside of the tanker had highly volatile and extremely unsafe ethanol vapors. The Clark County Coroner's Office did not immediately release Monday a cause of death for 47-year-old Stanley Wright. Inspectors with Nevada OSHA conducted an inspection at the railyard following Wright’s death. The agency recently issued citations to Rebel Oil for three serious violations and proposed a $11,475 penalty. The violations involved  failing to evaluate the hazards of a confined space, failing to inform workers of the danger posed by confined space, and failing to take prevention measures related to entering the confined space.

KANSAS CITY, KS - July 14, 2014 - A contractor for Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway was killed Monday after he fell into a train car full of grain. The man has been identified as 48-year-old James Breedlove. Fire rescue crews responded to the railroad yards near Interstate 635 and Kansas Avenue about 9:30 a.m. Monday. Craig Duke, deputy chief of the Kansas City, KS, Fire Department, said Breedlove fell into the train car during the transfer process of moving the grain to a semi-trailer. When firefighters arrived on the scene, rail crews were in the process of trying to remove the grain from the train car. Crews located Breedlove dead near the bottom of the car. No other injuries were reported.

July 12, 2014 - NORTH FREEDOM, WI — The Sauk County Sheriff’s Department has identified the 66-year-old woman killed in a train accident Saturday as Linda L. Rowe of North Freedom. The sheriff’s department reported that Rowe was working as a volunteer at Mid-Continent Railway Museum when she slipped beneath a moving train engine Saturday. Two brakemen, an engineer and a conductor were on board the engine, which was on its way to switch to another track, an operation that takes several minutes to complete, said Sauk County Sheriff Chip Meister. He said it appeared that Rowe slipped or lost her balance, fell and was run over.

June 24, 2014 - Birmingham, AL - Caleb Bankston, a 27-year-old Collinsville man, died midday Tuesday in an accident at the Alabama Warrior Railway in Birmingham.  Bankston was a train conductor at the Walter Coke Plant in Birmingham. On Tuesday he and an engineer were backing up a loaded train which consisted of two engines and five hopper cars, according to the Jefferson County Coroner's Office. They were backing the train loaded with coke toward other empty hopper cars, said Deputy Coroner Phillip Russell. Bankston was standing on a small ladder at the right rear of the last hopper car and was in communication with the engineer via a two-way radio.  While they were backing up the train, the hopper car Bankston was on derailed, unbeknownst to Bankston and the engineer. The train continued moving and then the car Bankston was on shifted. He was thrown into the side wall of an empty car, and then fell to the ground between parallel tracks. Birmingham Fire and Rescue responded to the site and pronounced Bankston dead on the scene. The accident took place between 11:15 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.  {C}{C}{C}Bankston was once a contestant on the CBS show Survivor.

April 17, 2014 - Klamath Falls, OR - An employee at an Oregon rail yard fatally shot a co-worker, the authorities said Thursday. James Harold Forshee II, 58, was arrested at the scene in Klamath Falls, about 280 miles south of Portland, and booked into jail on a murder charge, said District Attorney Rob Patridge of Klamath County. A spokesman for the BNSF Railway, Mike Trevino, identified the victim as Emery W. Connor, the (Klamath Falls) Herald and News reported. Connor's LinkedIn page says he had been with BNSF for eight years, first as a locomotive electrician and most recently as a mechanical foreman.

March 16, 2014 - Montreal Quebec - Mr. Jarrod Ward, Conductor, was fatally injured in an accident at Taschereau Yard in Montreal on March 16.  Mr. Ward was 34 and had been with CN for just over a year. The accident happened Sunday night around 9 p.m. at the Taschereau Yards on Hickmore St. in St-Laurent. According to Montreal Constable Jean-Pierre Brabant, the male employee was on a moving train that was backing up when one of the cars derailed. He was somehow caught between two cars.

March 10, 2014 - New York, NY - A Metro-North track worker who apparently strayed beyond a protected work zone was struck and killed by a northbound train in upper Manhattan early Monday. James Romansoff, 58, of Yonkers, was hit on an elevated stretch of track at 106th St. and Park Ave., the latest in a spate of serious accidents on the commuter railroad, officials said. One source said that Romansoff was part of a crew that wrongly believed train traffic was suspended in the area they entered. “There was some sort of miscommunication,” the source said. Romansoff, an eight-year employee in Metro-North's Power Department, was part of a crew restoring power to tracks that had been closed for weekend maintenance work, the MTA said in a statement. Two other sources said a safe work zone had been created by dispatchers remotely blocking trains from entering the area. The zone, however, was established south of where Romansoff was hit, the two sources said.

Feb 27, 2014 -  Dover FL - Tragically and far too soon Brother Shawn Montgomery, a member of UTU Local 1221, Tampa, Florida, was killed early morning on February 27, 2014 in an automobile accident on his way to work.  The memorial service was held this past weekend, Sunday, March 9th. Shawn was a son, brother, father of 2 little girls and husband.  He also fought hard for his country and our freedom, as a member of the Florida National Guard and Army from 2007 to 2013, giving up time with his own family to protect and serve ours.  His daughter, Elizabeth is five years old and his youngest daughter, Brooke, is just under one year.

February 14, 2014 – Lorain OH – A Republic Steel train crew brakeman working in the Lorain Steel Yard was crushed to death while riding the side of a train car when he was pinched between two sets of cars.  62-year old Frank Johnson, Sr. died immediately from multiple injuries. He was a member of United Steelworkers Local #1104 and had worked at Republic Steel for 45 years.  His son, Frank Johnson, Jr. was working in the scrap yard on the day of his father’s death.


November 30, 2013 - Bayard, New Mexico - New Mexico State Police released the names and ages of the three people killed in the train derailment that occurred Saturday afternoon, three miles from Bayard.
Law enforcement previously reported that all three victims were men, however, one of the victims was a
woman, Ann Thompson, 50, originally from Paulden, Ariz. The other two victims were Donald White, 38,
of Silver City, and Steven Crose, 60, also of Paulden, Ariz. A locomotive for Southwestern Railroad was pulling eight cars south to Santa Rita carrying Magnetite, a form of iron that is not hazardous, when it derailed around noon Saturday and fell 40 to 50 feet into an arroyo off State Highway 356 at mile marker three. The eight supply cars continued to run along the track until they reached a curve in the tracks and then derailed. The accident occurred on Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold property near the Chino Mine. The cause of the accident is still unknown.

The Federal Railroad Administration will investigate the cause of the accident.Crose and White both worked for the railroad. Thompson was Crose's girlfriend, said Wanda Shepard,Crose's cousin. It is also unknown why Thompson was inside the locomotive at the time of the crash asshe did not work for Southwestern Railroad, Shepard said. Both Thompson and Crose had recently moved to the Hurley area just three weeks ago for Crose's job."They loved being on the train," Shepard said of White and her cousin. "They loved it. It was their calling, and they were really proud of their jobs and what they did." Shepard said Crose had been an engineer for as long as she could remember. He left behind a father in Arizona, a brother in California, an ex-wife and two daughters. "He was a great artist, a wonderful musician. He was very creative, very loving," Shepard added. "He was just an all around good guy." Shepard said she was shocked to learn Thompson had also been on the train at the time of the crash. "That was a shock to me. It was news to me she would even be on [the train]," Shepard said. "I don't think she ever went with him to work.”

November 18, 2013 - Tisdale, Saskatchewan - [from Claude Mongeau, CN President and CEO 2013/11/19]  "It iswith great sadness that I inform you that our colleague Mr. Jason Cluney, a Conductor Trainee, was fatally injured during a switching operation near Crooked River, SK on November 18. Mr. Cluney was 39 and had been with CN for five months. Please join me in expressing our condolences to his wife Beth and their two children, as well as his family, friends and colleagues. An investigation is underway. This tragic accident is a reminder to us of the importance of safety in what can be an unforgiving industry. Let’s honour Mr. Cluney’s memory by rededicating ourselves to a personal commitment of performing our duties in complete safety at all times and protecting our colleagues as well." Canada’s TSB later released their report on the accident.

October 28, 2013 - Bradner, OH - Three CSX Transportation employees who were working at a crossing were struck by a car, driven by Cory R. Rickard, 26, of Woodville, that went around construction barricades on Bradner Road, just south of the village, the Wood County Sheriff's Office said. Two CSX employees were treated for injuries and survived. Brother Paul Michael Castle died on November 12, 2013 from the injuries sustained in the accident. Deputes said Mr. Rickard's southbound car went around two sets of barricades and drove into the construction area, where it struck a utility pole and the workers. His car then crashed into a CSX maintenance truck before driving off the tracks at the east side of the crossing. - - - Mr. Rickard was later tried and convicted by a jury in Wood County Common Pleas Court of murder and two counts each of aggravated vehicular homicide, vehicular assault, and felonious assault for the Oct. 28 crash near Bradner that killed Paul Castle, 34, of Paintsville, Ky., and injured Jim Conley, 58, of Findlay, and Luis Knott III, 58, of Banner, Ky. - - - Mr. Rickard's conviction was overturned by an appeals court on June 10, 2016. - - - Mr. Rickard was re-tried  and on February 9 was subsequently found guilty & sentenced a second time.

October 23, 2013 - Cleveland, OH - A 55-year-old railroad worker was killed Wednesday morning, Oct. 23, while working along the train tracks near the Union Tank Car yard off of FM 787 at CR 2205 outside of Cleveland. According to Capt. Ken DeFoor, spokesperson for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office, the man’s skull was crushed when it was caught between a tractor and the tractor’s boom. Oscar Alfaro, an employee of Bayou City Railroad Contractors for nine years, was discovered by his son who had grown concerned about his father. “Oscar had been gone from the work crew for a while so his son went over to where he was working,” said DeFoor. “Oscar had been working with a tractor that had a bucket boom on it. He had gotten off the tractor and was picking up metal debris by hand and throwing it into the tractor.” Some of the debris hit the tractor’s controls, causing the bucket to swing around and pin the man’s head between the bucket and the tractor. It is believed he was killed instantly.

October 19, 2013 - San Franciso, CA - An out-of-service Bay Area Rapid Transit train struck and killed two workers on a section of track northeast of San Francisco on Saturday afternoon, the transit authority said. The employees were making track inspections near the Walnut Creek station, BART said in a statement. One was an employee and the other a contractor. Their names were not immediately released. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of the two workers who've just been killed on the BART tracks," BART General Manager Grace Crunican said. She said the accident is under investigation. Paul Oversier, BART's head of operations, told reporters that the two workers were looking into a possible slight dip in the rail when they were hit. Victims were experienced employees, BART says - The victims had extensive experience working around moving trains, the transit authority said. The procedures involved in track maintenance require one employee to inspect the track and the other employee to act as a lookout for any oncoming traffic, it said. Those killed were later identified Christopher Sheppard of Hayward and Larry Daniels, a contractor from Oakland.  NTSB REPORT - [Later: BART fined $1.3 million]

August 26, 2013 - Harpursville, NY - Federal authorities are investigating the death of a bridge inspector who was electrocuted while working on a steel railroad bridge Monday (Aug. 26) in New York. Thomas F. Tarchak, 39, of Simpson, PA, had been with three other workers inspecting a steel railroad bridge over State Route 235 in Harpursville, NY, for Canadian Pacific Railway, officials said. The accident happened at 11:11 a.m. Monday while Tarchak was taking bridge measurements under an elevated train track in a high lift approximately 60 feet in the air when the lift came in contact with New York State Electric & Gas power lines, according to a New York State Police press release and information from a Federal Railroad Administration spokesperson. The electrical power line was carrying 4,800 volts. When emergency responders arrived, the lift truck was still energized and rescuers had to wait for NYSEG to halt power before they could recover Tarchak's body, according to WBNG-TV. Brother Tarchak was a member of TCU.

June 3, 2013 - Calgary, Alberta - A 57-year-old man was killed on the job after he slipped under moving rail cars Monday morning in the Ogden industrial area in southeast Calgary. City police officers were called to the 6300 block of Ogdendale Road S.E. before 7:30 a.m. to respond to a fatality at the rail yard, said Det. Greg Mercer. When they arrived, they discovered the man crushed beneath rail cars. “He was declared dead at the scene,” Mercer said. The man was part of a group of workers with Arrow Reload Systems using a loader to move three rail cars to join up with an empty rail car, said Lisa Glover, spokeswoman with Alberta Occupational Health and Safety. “He was coming off a ladder on one of the moving cars to engage a handbrake when he lost his footing and slipped under the moving cars,” Glover said. The employer voluntarily stopped work at the site, she added. Arrow Reload Systems, a truck-to-rail reload company, has a track that connects to CPR’s system but the workers are not employed by CPR, said CPR spokesman Kevin Hrysak. A representative with the company did not offer comment when reached by phone. Workers were offered counselling. Alberta Occupational Health and Safety is conducting a preliminary investigation but said a federal investigation could be launched.

May 28, 2013 - West Haven, CT - A longtime Metro-North Railroad employee died Tuesday when a train hit him as he worked at the site of the city's new station. Metropolitan Transportation Authority spokeswoman Marjorie Anders identified the victim as Robert Luden, 52, of East Haven, who was pronounced dead at the scene after he was hit by an 11:53 train out of New Haven bound for Grand Central Terminal in New York City. Anders did not detail the circumstances of Luden's death but said that MTA police are investigating the incident. Train service was suspended between the Milford and New Haven stations shortly after the incident and the train was evacuated of its roughly 300 passengers, Anders said. Luden, an MTA employee for 27 years, worked as a track foreman, Anders said. He was part of the crew constructing the forthcoming West Haven station at the time of the incident.  [NTSB Report] - - - [Senator Pushed for Rules Change]

May 24, 2013 - San Bernardino, CA - Coroner's officials have released the name of the 47-year-old Colton man who was hit by a freight train while working in the BNSF rail yard in San Bernardino. Abel A. Aldrete died at the scene of the 12:30 a.m. accident Friday, May 24, at the San Bernardino Intermodal Facility near Fourth Street and Cabrera Avenue. One of the freight cars became uncoupled during a switching move, causing the train to derail and roll forward, striking the victim, police Lt. Paul Williams said soon after the accident. The incident is being investigated by police, the National Transportation Safety Board and OSHA.

May 6, 2013 - Black Mountain, NC - A Norfolk Southern worker has been killed after he was trapped in a mudslide while checking track conditions in the North Carolina mountains. Norfolk Southern spokesman Robin Chapman says 33-year-old Joseph Drewnoski and a colleague were inspecting the rails near Black Mountain after a mudslide around 2 a.m. Monday when a second mudslide knocked their special truck with rail wheels off the track. Authorities say Drewnoski was outside the truck and was buried and killed. The employee who was still in the truck called for help and was rescued. Chapman says the dead worker's body was recovered about five hours later. Drewnoski was an assistant foreman and had been with Norfolk Southern for eight years.

April 24, 2013 - New York, NY - A veteran transit worker died a horrific death Wednesday after he tripped and fell into the path of an oncoming subway train in Queens. Signal maintainer Louis Moore was on a walkway inside the tunnel called a bench wall when he tumbled onto the tracks as the Jamaica-bound E train was approaching Astoria’s 46th St. station, transit sources said. “The train operator activated his emergency brakes but couldn’t stop in time,” one of the sources said.

February 20, 2013 - Carvel, Alberta - USW Local 2004 member Fernando Borges succumbed to his injures in the morning of February 22nd. Preliminary information is that Brother Borges while fulfilling the duties of a Welding Forman was hit by an on-rail pickup truck vehicle that was slowly backing up during a rail replacement program. The incident occurred on Wednesday February 20 2013 approximately 34 miles west of Edmonton near the town of Carvel AB. One of Fernando’s fellow workers said, “Fernando was well liked by everyone he met, always had a smile, and was fun to be around. He was a good man, and will be missed by all his friends”. Brother Borges was 62 years of age employed by CN Rail since 1984 and was a welding foreman since 1986. The investigation into this terrible tragedy is continuing.

February 16, 2013 - Cleveland OH - A spokesperson for Cleveland's ArcelorMittal Steel confirmed that an employee died in an accident at the steel plant on Saturday evening. According to the Cuyahoga County Coroner's office, the victim has been identified as Randolph Vayda, 50, of Elyria. The man reportedly fell off of a railroad car and into the path of an oncoming train where he sustained fatal injuries. A company spokesperson issued the following statement on Sunday: "We are saddened to confirm that there was a fatality at ArcelorMittal Cleveland on Saturday afternoon. The incident, which occurred on the facility's railroad, remains under investigation by the company and United Steelworkers. Appropriate agencies have also been notified. The ArcelorMittal family extends our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased. The health and safety of our employees remains the number one priority for ArcelorMittal." ArcelorMittal supplies steel products in all major markets including automotive, construction, household appliances and packaging. The company operates in 60 countries and employs about 245,000 people worldwide.

January 12, 2013 - Regina, Saskatchewan - A Canadian Pacific Railway employee was fatally injured while working at the Regina rail yard early Saturday morning. The 39-year-old man's death is being investigated by the Regina Police Service, in conjunction with the Office of the Chief Coroner and CP Rail officials.
At about 3 a.m., police, EMS and Regina Fire and Protective Services responded to a report of an injured man at the rail yard on Dewdney Avenue. EMS confirmed the man was dead. "Although the exact circumstances of the victim's death are the subject of investigation, preliminary indications are the victim was fatally injured by a train movement in the Regina rail yard," said Staff Sgt. Brent Ermel. [Note: The victim was later identified as Jamie Jijian.  Click HERE for 2016 news article update.


December 9, 2012 - St Charles, VA - Virginia State Police are investigating a Kentucky man’s death that was caused when a CSX train derailed late Sunday night in Lee County and landed on a vehicle parked next to it. The driver of the vehicle, identified as 31-year old Jamie Collins of Baxter, Ky., was taken to Lee Regional Medical Center, where he later died. The van is owned by J&K Transport and was used as a “transport taxi” to shuttle railroad employees back and forth from train destinations. A passenger in the van — Jason H. Williams, 33, of Viper, Ky. — was airlifted to Holston Valley Medical Center in Kingsport. Williams is reportedly being treated for serious injuries.

December 5, 2012 - Glade Springs VA - Crews from Norfolk Southern were cleaning up the debris and repairing the track where a truck was hit by a train Wednesday. We are told the identity of the truck driver, a NS employee, who was killed will not be released until the autopsy results come back, but Thursday they did start to move what is left of the truck after the crash and fire. We learned gallons of fuel leaked onto the tracks after the crash, igniting the truck and killing one of the railway workers. "He had just delivered a dump truck on a low-boy flatbed trailer and he had just dropped it off. He was returning when he was crossing the tracks," said Robin Chapman, PR Manager for Norfolk Southern. [Note; The truck driver was later identified as Brother William Fidler of Petersburg, VA.]

November 28, 2012 - Fort St. John, British Columbia, Canada - One man has died in a train derailment at a remote worksite in northeastern B.C. The incident occurred Wednesday evening at a CN Rail yard about 180 kilometres north of Fort St. John when a fuel tanker derailed and rolled onto the victim. Four other CN employees were in the yard and one was nearby, but no one else was hurt. The victim has been identified by the BC Coroners Service as Bryan Johannes Giesbrecht, 30, from Dawson Creek. Said the Coroners Service in a statement Friday: "Mr. Giesbrecht was unable to avoid being by struck by derailed, moving railroad stock and sustained severe injuries. Workers from the nearby camp attended the scene, however, Mr. Giesbrecht was deceased. First responders had a difficult time reaching the scene because it is only accessible by rail." Investigations are underway by several agencies, including the RCMP, Coroners Service, CN Police, Transportation Safety Board, WorkSafe BC, and Human Resources and Skills Development.  [Follow-up News Article]

November 12, 2012 - Macon GA - A Norfolk Southern employee died early Monday morning after falling from a parked train in Macon. Steve Warren, 56, of McDonough, fell off the side of the engine that was parked near Raines Avenue and Waterville Road at about 2 a.m., said Bibb County Coroner Leon Jones. An autopsy will determine whether Warren suffered a fatal medical emergency that caused him to fall or if he slipped and suffered a fatal injury in the fall, Jones said.                                           

September 14, 2012 - Toronto Canada - A veteran transit supervisor is dead after being struck by a subway in a predawn accident that sent two other TTC workers to hospital, including the driver of the train. Peter Pavlovski, 49, a tunnel foreman who held the post of “road master,” had worked with the TTC for 22 years and was known widely by staff, transit CEO Andy Byford said.

August 27, 2012-  New York, NY  -  A Long Island Rail Road worker was killed Monday when he came into contact with the third rail near the Queens Village train station, a spokesman for the MTA said. Ronald Sampson, 51, was performing track maintenance work alongside seven other employees around 11 a.m. Monday when he touched the third rail, electrocuting him to death, according to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. Sampson, a resident of Lake Ronkonkoma, L.I., started his career with the LIRR in June 2006 as an electric traction helper before he was promoted to third rail man in 2008.

August 15, 2012 - Rock Falls IL - UP - Whiteside County sheriff's deputies this morning released the name of a Union Pacific employee who died after a truck struck him during a railroad construction project Wednesday. Loren Daswood of Red Rock, N.M., was pronounced dead at the scene. Sheriff Kelly Wilhelmi did not know Daswood's age or how long he had been in the area.

July 31, 2012 - Mason City IA - Trainman Georgiy Soloviyov, 35, became the fourth UTU rail member killed on duty in 2012 following a Union Pacific yard accident at Mason City, Iowa, July 31. Soloviyov, of Stanhope, Iowa, and a member of UTU Local 867 (Des Moines) had seven years of service. Reports indicate he was part of a three-person conventional switching crew when pinned between two cuts of freight cars. George, as he was known, was a native of Kiev, Ukraine, who married an American serving there as a missionary. They relocated to the United States and George earned his American citizenship in 2004. Surviving, in addition to his wife, Lori, are two sons, Yuri and Aleksei, and two daughters, Tatyana and Katya.

July 27, 2012 - Ash Fork, AZ - A BNSF Railway employee was killed Friday morning when the worker drove a high-rail truck into a parked train north of Ash Fork. The victim has been identified as 41-year-old Jason Lacy of Williams. "We're investigating the possibility that he was doing a track inspection," said Coconino County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Gerry Blair. Investigators said they believe he might have been distracted for some unknown reason. The accident is now said to have happened between about 5:45 a.m. and 6:15 a.m., some 14 miles outside of Ash Fork, near where Sevens Ranch Road intersects with the train tracks. The sun was rising at the time of the accident. The train's conductors said they didn't feel any impact and didn't notice there was an accident until they tried to depart and had brake problems. That's when they discovered the wreckage behind the train. "We don't know what was going on behind the wheel," said Sgt. John Jamison. "All we know is that the truck was moving along at a pretty good rate of speed and just completely rear ended a stopped train." "This is very sad and unfortunate," he added. The accident is still being investigated and an autopsy will be performed.

June 24, 2012 - Goodwell OK - UP - Brother Dan J. Hall, President of BLET Division 592 (Dalhart, Texas), was killed in the line of duty on June 24, 2012. Hall, 56, was one of three railroaders killed when two Union Pacific trains collided head-on near the town of Goodwell, Okla. The others were BLET Member John S. Hall (not related) and UTU member Brian L. Stone. Brother Hall hired out in 1994 and joined the BLET on January 29, 1999. He is survived by his mother and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.

June 24, 2012 - Brother John S. Hall, a member of BLET Division 592 (Dalhart, Texas), was killed in the line of duty on June 24, 2012. Hall, 49, was one of three railroaders killed when two Union Pacific trains collided head-on near the town of Goodwell, Okla. The others were Dan J. Hall, President of BLET Division 592, and Brian L. Stone, a UTU conductor. The two Halls are not related. Brother Hall hired out in 1995 and joined the BLET on January 29, 1999. He is survived by his wife, Beverly, daughter Breanna, and son Johnathon.

June 24, 2012 - Brian L. Stone, 50, a Union Pacific conductor, died June 24 in a head-on collision between two freight trains near Guymon, Okla. He was a member of UTU Local 923 at Dalhart, Texas. Stone is the fourth UTU member killed on duty in 2012. Stone is survived by his wife, Cindy, of Dalhart, daughter Samantha Meredith of Georgia, daughter Sidonia Alo and husband Daniel of South Carolina, daughter Halee Stone of Amarillo, son Robert Lemley of Amarillo, and daughter Jade Stone of Dalhart.

May 28, 2012 - Conductor Robert J. Glasgow, 38, a member of UTU Local 887 at Harvey, N.D., died May 28 while setting out cars as part of a two-person crew at a CP yard. Initial reports are that Glasgow had mounted the lead car of 28 cars being switched conventionally when the lead car sideswiped other cars. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital following evacuation by a local emergency medical crew. Glasgow, of Minot, N.D., who had six years’ service as a maintenance-of-way employee, had been a conductor for some 10 months. Glasgow is survived by wife Jenny Ann and children Jacob, Carter, Cole, Ethan and Kaylee.

May 18, 2012 - Upper Merion, PA  -  A railroad engineer making a delivery to a newspaper plant in the Philadelphia suburbs died Friday when a roll of newsprint weighing almost a ton fell on him. The paper was so heavy that getting it off Jefferson Troester's body took several hours, WCAU-TV reported. Troester and a conductor were operating a six-car Upper Merion & Plymouth Railroad train that arrived at Philadelphia Newspapers' Upper Merion plant shortly after 9 a.m.

Sunday, February 26, 2012 - BURLINGTON, Ontario - A Canadian Via Rail passenger train derailed west of Toronto Sunday, killing three railroad employees and injuring dozens of passengers, officials said. Killed are veteran railroaders Ken Simmonds, Peter Snarr and Patrick Robinson, 40. Both Mr. Simmonds, 56, and Mr. Snarr, 52, started their railroad careers with CN in the late 1970s, and had been locomotive engineers with VIA since 2007. The two men were “top notch engineers” wrote friend Tommy Rocker in an email to the Post. “There are certainly some engineers who are distractable, grandstanders and slackers but not these two men.” Mr. Robinson was in the cab as a trainee. New to VIA, Mr. Robinson had worked on trains since 1990, including a stint with CN. It is not known whether Mr. Robinson was at the controls at the time of the incident, but he would have been under strict supervision, said Mr. Griffith. “My understanding is that they were dedicated employees doing their job and something went horribly wrong,” Teamsters Canada Rail Conference President Rex Beatty said on Monday.

February 14, 2012 - Jacksonville, FL - A worker who fell from a Jacksonville train trestle below the Acosta Bridge Tuesday was a 42-year-old boom truck operator from Michigan, his employer said. Peter Jerome Michnick was working for Osmose Railroad Services doing bridge repairs on the trestle bridge when he apparently fell and struck his head. Police released his name this morning. He was on the bed of a large boom truck used to lift bridge cross-members on the last day of the project, company President Harry Holekamp said. It is the second year the company has worked on the bridge. Holekamp said none of the five other crew members working on the job saw their co-worker fall. "They heard a thump," Holekamp said. Police said Michnick hit his head before falling into the St. Johns River and disappearing beneath the surface for about five minutes. Michnick and two workers who followed him into the water to attempt a rescue were picked up by a boater and taken to a nearby dock. Michnick was pronounced dead at Shands Jacksonville. "We're very distraught here," Holekamp said from the company offices in Wisconsin. He said Michnick had been with the company for about a year and was a good employee. He was married and lived in Carney, Mich.

January 30, 2012 - Gary IN - Michael M. Shoemaker, 55, a conductor and member of UTU Local 1383, was killed Jan. 30 in a switching accident at U.S. Steel’s Gary Works in Gary, Ind. Shoemaker, of Hobart, Ind., was a 10-year employee of Gary Railway, which is owned by U.S. Steel. Reports indicate he was working as a foreman in a three-person conventional switching operation when the car he was riding “impacted the side of the standing equipment that the crew had placed on an adjacent track, pinning him. Shoemaker is the first UTU member to be killed in a rail accident in 2012.

January 23, 2012  -  St. Louis, MO-  Carter Perry, 57, who worked for the Terminal Railroad Association of St. Louis, was working on the railroad bridge at South Sixth and Gratiot streets when he stepped onto an unsecured metal walkway about 12:50 p.m., according to St. Louis police. The walkway gave way and Perry fell. He was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Police have ruled Perry's death accidental. George Muraski, chief of police for Terminal Railroad, said Perry had been employed with the railroad since 1975. He was a resident of Belleville. "He was a very, very nice person," Muraski said. "He was friendly and always smiled."

January 9, 2012 - Amarillo, TX  -  A Burlington Northern Santa Fe worker was killed Monday morning when he was struck by a railroad car and pulled underneath, Amarillo Police Department. Lt. Gary Trupe said. Police have now released the identity of the man who was killed yesterday. Neil Thomas Touvell, 57, of Byers, Texas, was killed while on the job at BNSF.


December 18, 2011 - Navosota TX - Stacy Rieger, 41, a BNSF conductor and a member of Local 1957 at Silsbee, Texas, was killed Dec. 18 when his head reportedly struck a bridge beam. It appears he was leaning over the railing of his moving locomotive’s side running board in an attempt to check the fuel level in a fuel-tank sight glass. After striking his head, Rieger tumbled from the locomotive down a 48-foot embankment into the Navasota River. The nighttime accident occurred some 80 miles northwest of Houston. He is survived by his wife, Ann, four daughters and a stepdaughter.

November 2, 2011 - Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta – An 18 year-old laborer for International Bulk Services, a subsidiary of CN Rail, was killed when he was struck by a tractor-trailer. The accident happened while Cody Demary was working in a CN supply rail yard in Fort Saskatchewan.  Demary was from Bon Accord.  A later fatality inquiry by Occupational Health and Safety was told that there was significant interference from the CN at the time of the investigation.

September 19, 2011- Elkton, MD  -  A CSX employee died Monday after falling from a railroad bridge over Garrett Island. Authorities say Bernard T. Burrows, 58, of Stanton, Del., was on the CSX bridge over the Susquehanna River when he fell at approximately 2:20 p.m. "It's being treated as an occupational fatality," said Sgt. Art Windemuth, spokesman for the Maryland Natural Resources Police, which responded to the incident. Garrett Island sits in the river between Cecil and Harford counties. CSX spokesman Bob Sullivan said Burrows was working as a bridge repairman and has been with the company since 1973. Burrows was a member of a crew working on the bridge when he fell.

September 8, 2011 - CSX conductor Dennis A. Hemme, 59, was crushed to death near Botkins, Ohio, Sept. 8 during a mainline shove of a stalled train. Botkins is some 110 miles north of Cincinnati. Hemme, with some six years of service, was a member of UTU Local 14 (Cincinnati) and is survived by his wife and three children.

August 28, 2011 - A Union Pacific Railroad employee from Wakarusa was killed in a collision Sunday afternoon after the cross arms didn’t come down at an intersection just east of Abilene. Elmer “Butch” Hulse, 59, of Wakarusa, died after being taken to Abilene Hospital, the Kansas Highway Patrol accident report said.

August 19, 2011 - BNSF conductor and UTU member, Blaine Mack along with BLET member Todd Burckhard, 35, were killed in the line of duty on August 19, 2011 when the crew van they were riding in was involved in a collision near Frazer, Mont. Brother Mack, 56, was a member of UTU Local 1059 (Minot, N.D.), with 36 years of service. He lived in Minot. Brother Burckhard was a BNSF locomotive engineer and member of BLET Division 695 in Minot, N.D. He first joined the Brotherhood on November 1, 2010. He had about seven years of railroad experience. The crew van driver, a contractor, was hospitalized for minor injuries. The crew van was traveling westbound on Highway 2 when it was struck by an eastbound pickup truck operating in the westbound lane of traffic.

August 15, 2011 - BNSF Railway yard worker, Thomas F. Bleyenberg, a member of UTU Local 5, Kansas City, Mo., was killed Aug. 15 when he became trapped between two rail cars at the carrier’s Argentine Yard in Kansas City, Kan. He was working a two-person remote control assignment. He had been a UTU member since 1994. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Nita, and his children, Matthew and Amanda.

August 14, 2011 - West Islip NY - Long Island Rail Road car inspector Russell DeCeck, 48, a member of Local 722, Babylon, N.Y., was killed Aug. 14, when he reportedly came in contact with the third rail while working at the carrier’s Babylon yard in West Islip, N.Y. DeCeck, of Coram, N.Y., had 28 years of service. He joined the UTU in 1989.

August 4, 2011 - BNSF employee and UTU member Deborah Ann Beeler was killed in a Tulsa, Okla., yard accident Aug. 4 when a vehicle in which she was riding was struck by a flatcar during a hump operation, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. Deborah Ann Beeler, 39, of Claremore, was pronounced dead at the scene from multiple injuries. Beeler is survived by her husband, Michael, and sons Tyler, 11, and Wyatt, 9. She was a member of UTU Local 1289 since July 2005.

July 25, 2011 - Andres Tapia, 34, a Belt Railway of Chicago switchman and member of UTU Local 1597 (Chicago) with three years’ service was crushed to death between two rail cars in a hump yard in Chicago just after midnight July 25. Tapia, who was working a two-person remote control assignment, reportedly was found between the cars by fellow workers after his remote control device broadcast an automatic “man down” alert. Tapia is survived by his wife, Sonia, and children Andres III and Tristan.

July 14, 2011 - Police say a miscommunication may have led to a collision that killed a CN track worker east of Toronto on Thursday. Track maintenance engineer Rick McColl, 53, of Hampton, Ont., died after he was struck by a westbound VIA passenger train at 1:10 p.m. The accident happened five kilometres east of Guildwood Station in Pickering. McColl and another worker, who was not hurt, were performing routine track maintenance when McColl was struck by VIA train No. 51 travelling to Toronto from Montreal and Ottawa. The accident is being investigated by CN, which owns the tracks, and the Durham Regional Police. Ontario's Labour Ministry is also investigating. Durham Regional Police Insp. Dave Saliba told CBC News the CN workers expected the tracks would be free of train traffic while they worked. Both CN workers had made arrangements that the tracks would be clear for approximately 15 to 20 minutes to get scheduled maintenance done," said Saliba. "Our understanding at this time is that there's some type of miscommunication that may have occurred, we're not sure exactly what the cause was." Saliba said the train was travelling "at a high rate of speed" when the accident happened. "The two workers that were there, we had one worker that ran to the north and one worker that ran to the south," he said. "Unfortunately, the worker that ran to the south was struck by the VIA train." Saliba said police do not expect to lay charges. CN spokesperson Frank Binder said McColl was a 32-year veteran of CN. "CN has asked its employees to keep Rick, his family and his colleagues in their thoughts and prayers," he said. The accident caused some delays for VIA and GO Train passengers. GO Train service was suspended between Pickering and Guildwood stations before resuming just after 5 p.m. Thursday.  NEWS FOLLOW-UP:   July 4, 2013 - DURHAM -- The death of a Clarington CN worker while on the job has led to safety improvements for thousands of other railway workers.Hampton resident Rick McColl, a senior track foreman for CN, was killed on July 14, 2011 just east of Whites Road in Pickering after he was struck by a VIA train travelling west to Toronto from Montreal.A lengthy investigation of the accident by the Transportation Safety Board (TSB) of Canada was completed last year and released to the public last fall. It creates a picture of what happened that fateful day.

June 24, 2011 - Amtrak conductor Laurette Lee, 68, of South Lake Tahoe, Calif., was killed June 24 when a tractor-trailer combination rammed the side of a double-deck passenger car of Amtrak’s westbound California Zephyr at a highway-rail grade crossing. Lee, a mother of three, was from a railroad family. Her grandfather and great-grandfather were rails, her brother is an Amtrak dispatcher and her nephew, Ben Rankin, is an Amtrak conductor and member of UTU Local 1732 (San Jose, Calif.). Lee began her railroad career in 1988 as a baggage handler and later was promoted to conductor. She was a member of UTU Local 166 at Salt Lake City, Utah. [Note: This accident was the focus for the 2012 RWU "Black Shirt Friday" action.]

May 24, 2011 - CSX conductor Phillip E. Crawford Jr., 33, and BLET member James Gregory Hadden were killed early May 24 in a rear-end collision involving two CSX freight trains in Mineral Springs, N.C. Brother Crawford was a member of UTU Local 970, Abbeville, S.C. and had signed on with CSX in October 2005. Brother Hadden was a member of BLET Division 498 in Abbeville, S.C. He joined the Brotherhood on March 1, 2003. A CSX spokesperson said that the rear-end collision occurred on northbound tracks and involved one train enroute to Hamlet, N.C., from New Orleans, and another enroute to Charlotte from southern Georgia.

May 18, 2011 - St Joseph MO-  Buchanan County Undersheriff Lt. Col. Bill Puett said around 1 p.m., Robert V. Montgomery, 40, was “working on a piece of a railcar and there was an accident where a piece fell and killed him.” He said Mr. Montgomery was pronounced dead at the scene after the piece of equipment fell directly on him. The accident occurred at Herzog’s railcar repair shop, just off Easton Road on County Road 55. Workers there perform maintenance as well as custom work on railcars. Employees at Herzog, which is headquartered in St. Joseph and does construction and railroad business across the country, declined to comment on the accident.

May 1, 2011 - Veteran BLET member Christopher L. Carter, 57, drowned on his way to work on May 1, 2011, when his car was swept away by swiftly rising floodwaters in Mayflower, Ark. Brother Carter was a member of BLET Division 858 in Pine Bluff, Ark. A Union Pacific engineer, Brother Carter had been a BLET member for more than 36 years, first joining the Brotherhood on February 1, 1975. According to Division 858 Local Chairman Jay Callaway, Brother Carter was on his way to work for the Union Pacific Railroad when the accident happened. It is believed his Ford Explorer hydroplaned in rapidly rising flash flood waters, and his vehicle came to rest in a ditch to the side of the road. Due to the torrential rains that came through the area, water levels rose so quickly that when first responders arrived, Carter vehicle was completely submerged.

April 17, 2011 - UTU Local 199 (Creston, Iowa) Vice Local Chairperson Patricia Hyatt, 48, and Tom Anderson, President of BLET Division 642 were killed April 17 near McPherson when their eastbound freight train pulling 130 loaded coal hoppers collided with the rear of a second BNSF train. The lead locomotive of the coal train was engulfed in fire. Sister Hyatt, daughter of Evan Aubrey Shiver and Christine (Elliott) Shiver, was born Feb. 25, 1963, in Fort Ord, Calif. She graduated from Crystal River High School in Crystal River, Fla. She went on to study for two years in college and served six years in the U.S. Army. Brother Anderson, 48, joined the BLET on January 1, 2000. CLICK HERE for the NTSB report.

March 23, 2011 - A freight train struck a shuttle van in Longview Wednesday, killing three people and critically injuring a fourth. The shuttle van was transporting three Burlington Northern Sante Fe crew members across the tracks when it was struck on the passenger side by a northbound grain train, according to Gus Melonas with BNSF. The private rail crossing had warning signs and a stop sign, but nosafety crossing arms. Investigators said a parked train may haveobstructed the van driver's view of the oncoming train. Witnesses said they heard a train bell sound just before the horrific crash. Two BNSF crew members were killed. Authorities identified them Thursday as Chris Loehr, 28, of Vancouver, Washington and Tom Kenny, 58, of Seattle. The driver of the shuttle van was also killed. He was identified by police as Steven Sebastian, 60, of Castle Rock. The lone survivor was also a BSNF crew member. Dwight Hauck, 52, of Auburn, Wash. was listed incritical condition at Oregon Health & Science University, according to the Associated Press. Authorities said Loehr was a conductor trainee working out of Port Bay,  Wash. and Kenny was an experienced engineer who had worked for Burlington Northern the past 22years. CLICK HERE for the NTSB report. [Note: This accident was the focus for the 2011 RWU "Black Shirt Friday" action]

March 14, 2011 - Toronto, Ontario - TCRC Division 295 member, Keith Coad passed away at work.  

March 8, 2011  -  Council Bluffs, IA - Cody James Campbell, 28.  Cody was killed when struck by a piece of metal while working at Railworks Track Systems in Council Bluffs, Iowa.  IOSHA investigated the incident and assessed a $$3,750 penalties and 2 serious violations which was later reduced to $1,875.00. ----Cody lived in Minnesota and was injured on a job site while working in Iowa for Railworks Track Systems and died from his injuries a week later in Rochester, Minnesota. While a work team was pounding in rail spikes, a piece of metal split off the rail and ricocheted backwards 20 feet and struck Cody in the neck, while he was working on something else. The piece of metal severed a facial artery and lodged in the floor of his mouth. We (this from Cody's parents) feel it was a freak accident, but it is our opinion it was the lack of quick response of medical care that caused his death. He got to the emergency room in less than 10 minutes, but they made him sit down and fill out paperwork before seeing him, not realizing the gravity of his injury. So, we feel it is the hospitals worry of whose paying that cost us our son’s life. We did find out that Railworks was issued two Citations from Iowa OSHA for serious violations. One for not furnishing and a place of employment free from recognized hazards that could likely cause death or serious physical harm to employees and the other for hand tools or equipment were not kept in a safe condition.

February 8, 2011 - Stanley L. Watts, Secretary-Treasurer of BLET Division 354 (Kankakee, Ill.), was killed in the line of duty on February 8, 2011, following a switching accident at a Norfolk Southern yard in Kankakee, Ill. Brother Watts, 43, has been a member of the BLET since February 1, 2006. He was a Norfolk Southern locomotive engineer who was set back working as a conductor at the time of the accident. He is survived by his wife Sara and sons Zachary and Andrew. He was working as part of a conventional switching crew consisting of an engineer, conductor and conductor-in-training, and had gone on duty at 6:00 a.m. Brother Watts was born Jan. 1, 1968, in Chicago. He was a veteran of the U.S. Army, serving from 1986-1990. He coached youth football and was active with his sons’ sports. He enjoyed camping and was an avid Bears fan. He loved spending time with his family.


October 11, 2010  -  Orange, TX-  MATTHEW ETHEREDGE, a 23 year old Orange resident was training to be a rail switchman at a facility that manufactured ethylene and co-polymer products, and used a fleet of approximately 600 railcars to pull raw materials into and finished products out of the plant. He was working the 3:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m. shift with a five person crew. The crew consisted of an engineer, conductor, yardmaster,  switchman and Mr. Etheredge. At a little past midnight, members of his crew lost contact with him for approximately ten minutes. When Etheredge was located,  he was found lying next to the railroad tracks with visible facial injuries with no pulse. Emergency medical personnel were summoned. They arrived and pronounced him dead. The medical examiner determined that the cause of death was blunt force injury of the chest, back, and abdomen.


September 4, 2010 - In Mobile, Ala., conductor Josh Roper, 27, died Sept. 4 while working a conventional switching job with Alabama State Docks Terminal Railroad. He had been furloughed by CSX before hiring on with the state-owned railroad. Roper was member of UTU Local 598. He is survived by his wife, Cassie, and two-year-old daughter.

September 2, 2010 - John M. McCabe, 52, of Ridley Park, Pa., and member of UTU Local 1390 died Thursday, Sept. 2, near Paulsboro, N.J. FRA investigators said the Conrail Shared Assets conductor was killed during a two-man conventional switching move into an industrial facility. The FRA said the move was observed by a surveillance camera “seconds before impact.”

September 1, 2010 -  Minneapolis, MN-  Andrew Kim Weaver, 53, a veteran employee of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway, was killed September 1, 2010 in the northern Twin Cities suburb of Coon Rapids. Authorities said the man stepped off a test train and walked onto a nearby track, where he was hit by a Northstar commuter train that he apparently did not see. At the time, authorities said that was because he was talking on his cell phone. It’s a story that been repeated — with some reason — after a series of recent high-profile accidents involving trains. But since then, family members began to question that claim, saying the story didn’t jibe with what they knew of the veteran employee of the BNSF Railway. Under pressure from Weaver’s family, the sheriff’s department this week said Weaver was not on his cell phone at the time he died, reversing its earlier version of events.  Now, the office says Weaver, 53, of Fridley, apparently was using his cell phone shortly before he died — but not at the exact moment he was hit.

August 17, 2010 – Elwood Park IL – Robert “Steve” Ryan died from cardiac arrest while working as an engineer on an overnight 12 hr shift at approx. 11 am in the morning (one hour before his end time) on the Canadian Pacific railroad. He stepped on the catwalk of the engine to get some air and ended up dying there and was found by a fellow engineer in the rocks next to the track. He was 56 years old.

July 13, 2010 - Deerfield Mass - Kurt Ward, a 35-year-old UTU member, died following an on-duty accident early July 13 on Pan Am Southern Railway. Ward, of North Conway, N.H., a member of UTU Local 587 at Greenfield, Mass., was caught under a railroad car as he and others attempted to uncouple it from an engine while they were working in a River Road railroad yard. He died from his injuries at Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield. He is survived by his mother, Lee Ward; father, Roy Ward; brother, Keith; and sister-in-law, Laurie.

July 2, 2010 - Meridian MS - Darrell Amerson, a member of BLET Division 230, was killed in the line of duty on July 2, 2010, following an accident in a Norfolk Southern yard in Meridian, Miss. Brother Amerson, 42, joined the BLET on June 1, 2008. According to Division 230 Local Chairman Brian Glebe, the accident occurred around 10:30 p.m. in the Meridian rail yard. Brother Amerson suffered severe trauma to his leg and passed away at Rush Foundation Hospital around 1:30 a.m. on July 2 due to complications from his injury. Brother Amerson had worked for Norfolk Southern for three and a half year. He is survived by his wife, Angela.

June 20, 2010 - New Orleans LA - Frederick Gibbs, a 52-year-old on-duty CSX conductor, was shot to death June 20 in what New Orleans police say was a botched robbery attempt. The shooter reportedly entered the locomotive cab and began firing. The intermodal train, enroute to New Orleans from Atlanta, was stopped near downtown New Orleans awaiting clearance into a terminal when the crime occurred. Gibbs is survived by his wife, Gwen; mother, Alneda Gibbs; two sons and four grandchildren.

June 15, 2010 - Norfolk NE - UTU member and Nebraska Central engineer Jeff Scholl, 38, of Norfolk, Neb., died June 15 after a railroad bridge collapsed near Sara’s Lake in Norfolk. Scholl was a member of UTU Local 367. He is survived by his wife, Suzie, and sons, Ryan and Brendan.

June 10, 2010 - Doswell, VA - Marshall W. Conner, 54, a member of UTU Local 610, died after being struck by a train June 10. Conner, a 26-year veteran railroader and a resident of Spring Grove, Va., was hit by a northbound freight train traveling a parallel track while he was conducting an air brake test at a CSX yard north of Richmond. Conner is survived by his wife of 34 years, Debi Conner; son, Eric Conner and wife, Hilary and their daughter, Haley; daughter, Kelly Stallings and husband, Drew; mother, Dorothy Conner; and two brothers and three sisters.

May 31, 2010 - Kearney, NJ - Brother Gregory G. Kastner, a veteran NJ Transit hostler, had just finished fueling his engine and was walking back to another locomotive when he was struck around 3:30 a.m. on May 31, 2010 at NJ Transit’s Meadows Maintenance Complex in Kearny, N.J. Tragically, Brother Kastner, 63, was just 20 days from retirement when the fatality occurred. According to his friend and Brother Fred Mattison of Division 373, Brother Kastner chose not to retire as soon as he was eligible. Instead, the devoted father and husband decided to continue working a few extra years to provide for his family. He and his wife, Grace, were looking forward to retirement and had just purchased a retirement home in Florida. Brother Kastner was a member of BLET Division 272 in Dover, N.J., and he joined the Brotherhood on April 2, 2004. He is survived by his wife, Grace (Moran) Kastner, his three children, Cristin Farney and her husband, Steven, Kimberly McCloskey and her husband, William, and Ryan Kastner, as well as his granddaughter, Micaela Kastner.

May 11, 2010 - Diamondville, WY - Paul Cook, a 39-year-old Union Pacific railroad worker from Bellevue, Neb., was beaten to death last Tuesday night, May 11, just before midnight at the Fairview Motel in Diamondville. The Lincoln County Sheriff’s office deemed it a homicide, marking South Lincoln County’s first homicide since 2004. The last homicide in Lincoln County occurred in 2009.

April 23, 2010 - Malinda Jean Carter, 36, a member of Local 1534, Chicago, was killed April 23, 2010, in a switching accident at CSX¹s Barr Yard in Riverside, Ill. She was chairperson of her local’s remote control operation (RCO) oversight committee and was employed by CSX for almost seven years. She is survived by her mother and father, Delois and Ray Carter, a brother, David, a sister, Mildred, and many nieces and nephews. [RWU learns about accident]

March 25, 2010 -  Washburn, ND - The man killed in a train derailment south of Washburn has been identified as Jeff Heitzmann of Mandan. Heitzmann, 46, was killed in the derailment of five Dakota, Missouri Valley and Western Railroad engines on Thursday, according to an obituary. Five DMVW Railroad engines derailed about 2½ miles south of Washburn Thursday onto the bank of Turtle Creek. One man escaped from one of the engines and made it to a house to call 911. Employees at DMVW, which employs 56 people out of its Bismarck office and about 100 overall, are having a hard time coping with the loss of Heitzmann, Wood said. The company is a "pretty big bunch of family," including some relatives of Heitzmann's, he said. "We're all pretty close knit," Wood said.

March 20, 2010  -  El Monte, CA-  Roberto Ramirez, a Union Pacific employee was sitting in a maintenance truck on a railway crossing east of El Monte and was struck and killed by a Metrolink train Saturday morning. Three passengers on the train received injuries that were not life threatening.

March 16, 2010 - North Versailles, PA - BLET member Andrew Monheim was killed in the line of duty on March 16, 2010, following the collision of two Union Railroad freight trains near Pittsburgh, Pa. Monheim, 54, was a member of BLET Division 700 located in Braddock, Pa. He is survived by his wife and 12 year-old-son. Brother Monheim, 54, was a member of the Brotherhood for 31 years, having joined on August 1, 1978. He worked for the Union Railroad for 35 years. According to preliminary reports, Brother Monheim was operating a train of empties when it collided with a train caryring iron ore pellets to U.S. Steel’s Edgar Thompson Plant in North Braddock, Pa. The trains were operated by Union Railroad, part of Transtar Inc., a transportation subsidiary of U.S. Steel. The Edgar Thomson plant is part of U.S. Steel's Mon Valley Works and produces steel slabs.

January 26, 2010  -  Rockville, MD-  Federal officials investigating the deaths Tuesday of two Metro employees are trying to determine why the driver of a Metro utility vehicle did not know that the men were working behind him on the tracks.  Jeff Garrard, 49, of Clarksburg was pronounced dead at the scene. Sung Duk Oh, 68, of Montgomery Village died at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda. Garrard had worked for Metro since 1990, officials said, and Oh since 1998. Between the two of them, they had worked for Metro for almost 10,000 hours before their careers ended Tuesday under the crush of a three-ton truck backing down the tracks in the middle of the night. CLICK HERE for NTSB report.

January 12, 2010 - Walker Springs AL - UTU member Aaron Milhouse, 46, died Jan. 14 from injuries suffered as a result of a Norfolk Southern train fire Jan. 12. Milhouse, a member of Local 1053, in Selma, Ala., was burned when his train encountered a burning trestle in Clarke County, then ground to a stop directly over the fire. He is survived by his wife, Rachel, his son, Aaron Jr., and his father, Dawson.  CLICK HERE for FRA Report.

January 12, 2010 - OAKVILLE, Ontario, Canada— A 42-year-old Hamilton railway worker crushed between two boxcars at the Ford Plant late Monday died early today. Michael Chiarelli died in Hamilton General Hospital after being transferred following emergency surgery at Oakville Trafalgar Memorial Hospital. Halton police said the incident happened just after 5 p.m. in a body shop at the Ford Motor Company, where a railway line allows locomotives to move material in and out of the plant. Halton Detective Gerard Kelly said Chiarelli, a brakeman for the Canadian National Railway for almost all of his 20-year career with the company, was standing on the back of a train as it backed in to connect with a stationary train. But the coupling attachment did not connect and the man was pinned, he said. “He was conscious at first, but later lost consciousness,” said Kelly, adding one of the trains had to be moved to free the trapped man. Transport Canada will lead the investigation into whether there was any equipment malfunction or human error. Julie Senécal, a spokesperson for Canadian National Railway, said Kelly was a dedicated, full-time employee since 1990. Calling the incident “extremely sad,” she said CN has been in contact with the family to express their condolences and will co-operate fully with any investigation. Chiarelli leaves behind a wife and three children.


December 29, 2009 - Minneapolis, MN - BNSF conductor Samuel W. Lundy, 44, a 17-year member of UTU Local 1000, Minneapolis, was killed Dec. 29 in Minneapolis when, during a switching operation, a rail car derailed and pinned him against a building. He is survived by his wife, Jackie, and three children.

November 19, 2009 -   - 

November 6, 2009 - Lusk WY - UPRR - A BMWED member was struck and killed under watchman/lookout protection during maintenance activities being performed on a switch component.

November 5, 2009 - Philadelphia PA - SEPTA - A packed commuter train struck and killed a BMWED rail inspector during the morning rush Thursday, disrupting service for three hours and stranding hundreds of riders on a system already crippled by a transit strike. The man has been identified as Kevin Sparks, 34, of Sharon Hill, Pa. The train was inbound from the city's northern suburbs when it hit Sparks around 8:35 a.m., Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority spokesman Richard Maloney said. More than 625 people on the train were stranded at the Melrose Park station as three of 13 regional lines have had to be shut down. Sparks, a rail inspector, was walking with a flagman on the northbound tracks when he was hit from behind by a southbound train, Maloney said. The train was running on different tracks than normal because of equipment problems with another train.

September 23, 2009 - Hereford, TX - A worker with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railroad was killed Wednesday near Hereford. The Deaf Smith County Justice of the Peace's office says Larry Craig Green was working near the track around 6:30 Wednesday morning when he was hit by a train.
The incident happened near the old Caviness meat plant about three miles west of Hereford on highway 60. It is unclear right now how the events transpired. Green was 54 years old.

September 14, 2009 - Gillette, Wyoming - A 44-year-old Gillette man was killed Monday when a large wall of dirt collapsed on him during a work mishap. Authorities say David Allen Larson, a contractor for BNSF Railway, died while helping replace a culvert in Converse County. The mishap happened at about 9:30 a.m. on Highway 59, 26 miles north of Douglas, Converse County Sheriff Clint Becker said in a statement. A large wall of dirt collapsed on top of Larson when the culvert was removed.

July 14, 2009 - Bettendorf IA - Two BLET members working for the Iowa, Chicago & Eastern (IC&E) Railroad were killed near Bettendorf, Ill., on July 14, 2009. According to preliminary reports from the National Transportation Safety Board, the accident happened after their train hit a misaligned switch. Andrew R. Reed, 27, was working as a conductor at the time of the fatality. Joshua M. Osborn, 27 was working as the locomotive engineer. Reed began working for the railroad in August of 2004 and first joined the Brotherhood on December 1, 2004. He is survived by his fiancee, Jamie Diercks, their daughter, Brynn, and her daughter, Delaney Holmes. Brother Osborn, a Marine sergeant who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, had just joined the Brotherhood. He is survived by his fiancée Jennifer Schreiner; one daughter, Kaliann Schreiner and Jennifer's daughter Bailey Baker. Brothers Reed and Osborn were both members of BLET Division 266 in Savanna, Ill.  CLICK HERE for the NTSB report.

July 10, 2009  -  Gordon, GA- Damien Whipple, 24 was killed from fall off a train onto the tracks and was pinned under another train while switching rail cars at Rescar Industries in Gordon, GA. Federal OSHA investigated the incident and assessed a $32,000.00 penalty and 9 serious violations wich was later reduced to $1,600.00 in penalties, 4 serious violations and 1 other.

July 5, 2009 - Lake Buena Vista, CA - About 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, July 5, 2009, two monorails collided on a fixed guideway system referred to as the Epcot beam near the Concourse station within Walt Disney World
Resort in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. The accident occurred when the Pink monorail backed through an improperly aligned switch-beam and struck the Purple monorail. An operator and six passengers were on board the Purple monorail at the time of the collision. The operator, 21 year old Austin Wuennenberg, was fatally injured; the passengers were not injured. The only occupant of the Pink monorail, the operator, was taken to a nearby hospital and treated and released. At the time of the accident, weather conditions were clear with light winds and a temperature of 76º Fahrenheit. One operating cab from each of the monorails was destroyed. Total damages were estimated at $24 million.

June 24, 2009 - Albertville, AL - Conductor Dustin Moles, 33, a member of Local 1972, Birmingham, Ala., was killed June 24, 2009, when the Alabama & Tennessee River Railroad train on which he was riding derailed while being switched into a shipper facility. He hired on in 2005. Dustin was a police officer prior to hiring out with the railroad.

June 22, 2009 - Washington DC - On Monday, June 22, 2009, about 4:58 p.m., eastern daylight time, inbound Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Metrorail train 112 struck the rear of stopped inbound Metrorail train 214. The accident occurred on above ground track on the Metrorail Red Line near the Fort Totten station in Washington, D.C. The lead car of train 112 struck the rear car of train 214, causing the rear car of train 214 to telescope into the lead car of train 112, resulting in a loss of occupant survival space in the lead car of about 63 feet (about 84 percent of its total length). Nine people aboard train 112, including the train
were killed. Emergency response agencies reported transporting 52 people to local hospitals. The train operator was later identified as Jeanice McMillan of Springfield, Va.

May 13, 2009 - Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - The 53-year-old (John Pichalski, from Hillsborough, NJ) CSX railroad employee was repairing damage from an earlier accident when he was hit by a truck. He was killed Monday as he worked to repair damage to warning lights from an accident earlier in the day at the same location. The man was killed at 3:58 p.m. at Big Oak and Township Line roads in Middletown, when a tractor-trailer carrying Keebler cookie products hit him while making a very sharp right turn, said Middletown Officer Mark McLeod.

May 10, 2009 - Selkirk, NY - Conductor Jared Boehlke, 33, a member of Local 212, Albany, N.Y., was killed May 10, 2009, in a CSX yard accident in Selkirk, N.Y. He is survived by his wife, Heather, three year-old-daughter, mother, father and ten brothers. Jared was a man of strong faith, an avid knife maker, and was extremely devoted to his family and friends. [Note: Jared's needless death on Mother's Day was the impetus for RWU's beginning our annual "Black Shirt Friday" railroaders memorial campaign each year on Father's Day.]

February 28, 2009 - Yeso, NM - Conductor Gregory “Greg” Blevins, 56, president of UTU Local 1168, Clovis, N.M., and a 35-year BNSF employee, was killed Feb. 28, 2009, in a switching accident at Yeso, N.M. He is survived by a son, daughter, two sisters and four grandchildren. He was a U.S. Army veteran. 28. Greg was a man of infectious laughter who gave of himself in service to others. He had an ability to brighten one’s day and put a smile on one’s face. He was always very proud of his children and grandchildren and never tired of speaking about their accomplishments.

February 8, 2009 - Herington, KS - Conductor Saxton Haselwood, 26, a member of Local 1227 in Wichita, Kan., was killed Feb. 8, 2009, in a switching accident at Union Pacific’s Herrington Yard outside Herrington, Kan. Haselwood, unmarried, was on the job just two years.

February 7, 2009 - Holbrook, AZ - Conductor Mike Wilcox, 43, a member of Local 113, Winslow, Ariz., was killed Feb. 7 in Holbrook, Ariz., after being struck by a passing train. He hired on at BNSF in 1998, and is survived by his wife, Tina, and three children. Mike was a hard-working employee and a devoted family man, active in local youth programs, as a coach and volunteer, and an avid outdoorsman who loved to hunt and fish. “This guy was a good friend of mine,” General Chairperson William Young III said. “He was a good family man and a real good guy. But, the truly sad part was that the engineer who hit him was his best friend.”

January 28, 2009 - Council Bluffs, IA - Union Pacific switchman Craig Lang, 41, a member of Local 367 in Omaha, Neb., was killed Jan. 28 in a UP yard accident in Council Bluffs, Iowa. Investigators said Lang stepped off a train on which he was riding and was struck by a coal train going in the opposite direction.

January 22, 2009 - Meteor Crater AZ -  A freight train struck and killed a worker operating a jackhammer on the railroad tracks near Meteor Crater this morning. Coconino County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Gerry Blair confirmed that the victim was a member of a three-man crew working on the BNSF tracks when he was struck by the westbound train at about 10:45 a.m. The victim was pronounced dead on the scene. The other workers were not struck or injured. The accident occurred on tracks about a mile north of Interstate 40 near the Meteor Crater exit. It was not visible from the highway. Blair could not provide any further details on the victim late this afternoon, pending further investigation. Next of kin had not been notified.  - - - The (BNSF) Southwest Division mourns the loss of David Benally, who was fatally injured Jan. 23 near Winslow. Benally, 52, Maintenance of Way truck driver, spent more than 15 years with the railroad. He is survived by his wife, June, three daughters and one grandson, as well as many extended family, friends and co-workers.
“David was well-respected and well-regarded within the Southwest Division,” said John Palacios, division engineer. “He will be sorely missed.”

January 16, 2009 - Ft Sumner, NM - Locomotive engineer Lenard “Lenny” Eugene Noice, 59, of Albuquerque, N.M., and a member of Local 1168 in Clovis, died Jan. 16, 2009, in a BNSF train accident. Noice worked for BNSF for 35 years. He is survived by his wife, Carla, son, Lenny Noice II, a twin brother, a sister and both parents. He was a U.S. Air Force veteran. Lenny was a man of many talents who loved to fly-fish and work with a wide variety of electronics.

January 9, 2009 (Metro North): A New Rochelle, N.Y., resident with a quarter-century of experience with Metro-North Railroad has been identified as the rail worker killed by a train near the Rye, N.Y., station Friday night. Kenneth McGrath, 49, was a signal maintainer, railroad spokesman Dan Brucker said Saturday. The accident occurred just south of the Rye station at 7:03 p.m. Friday, when a Metro-North train from Grand Central Station bound for New Haven struck McGrath. Metropolitan Transportation Authority police were investigating, Metro-North spokeswoman Marjorie Anders said Saturday. The MTA runs and operates Metro-North and other commuter lines. Anders said the death appeared to be accidental but said all circumstances will be investigated. McGrath was pronounced dead at the scene. His body was transferred to the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s office in Valhalla, Brucker said.


YORKVILLE,IL -A Burlington Northern Santa Fe railway employee was killed Friday morning in a train derailment here. At around 10 a.m., police were called to the 200 block of Wheaton Avenue near the F.E. Wheaton lumber yard, west of Illinois 47, where they found a partially overturned train car and a deceased worker. Authorities do not yet know how the employee, who was working on a crew involved in a routine switching operation on a side track, was killed. The Yorkville Police Department, along with Plano officers, Kendall County sheriff's deputies and the Bristol-Kendall Fire Department responded to the incident. Upon arrival, officers secured the scene for the Kendall County coroner and Burlington Northern Santa Fe investigators.

October 14, 2008- PLEASANT HILL, CA -- A Bay Area Rapid Transit structures inspector killed this morningwhen he was struck by a BART train between the Pleasant Hill and Concordstations was identified today as James Strickland, 44, of Concord. Strickland, who had worked for BART since 2001, was struck frombehind by an eastbound Pittsburg-Bay Point train as he was walking along thetrack, according to BART spokesman Linton Johnson. Johnson said a maintenance crew had closed one direction of thetracks, so all trains were using the San Francisco-bound tracks when the   collision happened.

September 12, 2008 - Locomotive Engineer Eddie Robert M. Sanchez, 47, was one of 30 people killed when his Metrolink commuter train collided head-on with a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth, Calif., on September 12, 2008. More than 130 others were hurt in the crash, which was called one of the worst train accidents in the history of California. He was a member of BLET Division 20 in Los Angeles, and had been a BLET member for 10 years at the time of the accident. This accident let the pass of Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Emergency Order 26, which banned the use of cellular phones and other electronic devices in the locomotive cab.

August 30, 2008-  Newport News, VA -  Employee was walking backward, while pulling a cutlever that opened the knuckle in the middle of a railroad car. Employee fell underneath the railroad car's wheel and sustained unspecified, seriousinjuries. He died at a local hospital.                                        

August 29, 2008 - Brother Pendarvis, a member of BLET Division 523 in Chickasha, Okla., was killed in the line of duty on August 29, 2008, when his Union Pacific locomotive collided with a propane tanker truck near Medford, Okla. The collision triggered a massive explosion and also caused the death of conductor Larry B. Williams, a member of the United Transportation Union, and truck driver Dennis Wayne Etherton. Brother Pendarvis, 52, joined the BLET on April 1, 2004. He is survived by his son, Travis and his mother Julie Lonewolf; two step-children Shamieka and Donte; one step-grandson Kobe; his childhood sweetheart Kym; his parents Jean and James Guesby; father William Marvin Craine Sr. and a host of aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and co-workers. The accident occurred at 9:20 a.m. on August 29, about three miles south of Medford, Okla., in Grant County. The truck driver had just filled his tanker with propane at the Conoco-Phillips LP underground storage facility south of Medford before the accident. The truck was on the train tracks when the 76-car train struck it. The locomotive event recorder indicated Brother Pendarvis sounded the horn and was trying to stop the train just prior to impact. Mike Honigsberg, emergency management director for neighboring Garfield County, said Brother Pendarvis and Conductor Williams were heroes for their last-second attempts to halt the train. "In my opinion, that was a heroic effort because if they didn't, there was nothing to stop that train between here and Enid," he said. "They probably prevented another major catastrophe." Enid is about 35 miles south of Medford.

August 20, 2008 - Boston MA - Amtrak maintainer, Steven Rychwalski,  22, of White Marsh, an inspector for the communications and signals department, was working on the tracks north of the New Carrollton station shortly after 5 a.m. when he was struck by a train. Rychwalski, who had worked for the railroad since 2005, was airlifted to a hospital, where he died a short time later.

July 24, 2008 - Sacramento, CA - A 40 year old Sacramento Regional Transit District employee died in an accident.  Troy Schafer was struck and killed by a light rail train while working on the tracks.

June 27, 2008 - Decatur, IL - A 35-year-old Decatur man is dead after a railroad construction accident in the central Illinois town. Macon County Coroner Michael Day says the man was knocked from a catwalk Thursday by some kind of cable or equipment while overseeing the repair of a train trestle. Day says the worker died Thursday afternoon at a hospital. His name hasn’t been released because relatives are still trying to reach members of his immediate family. The man worked for Canadian National Railway. Company spokesman Patrick Waldron says the death is under investigation.

June 9, 2008 - Winslow, Ariz., June 9, 2008, BLET member suffers serious heart attack on duty BLET member John T. Wright II, a member of BLET Division 383 in Winslow, Ariz., died after suffering a serious heart attack while completing a setout of a locomotive in Winslow, Ariz. He was a BNSF locomotive engineer for 31 years and was 59 years old at the time of his passing. He is survived by his wife, Sandra; sons John Wright III, Sam Owens and Clayton Lutz; daughters Dianna Wright, Samantha Deanda, Candice Lutz and Nicole Lutz.

May 28, 2008 - Newton, MA - On May 28, 2008, about 5:51 p.m., eastern daylight time, westbound Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Green Line train 3667, traveling about 38 mph, struck the rear of westbound Green Line train 3681, which had stopped for a red signal. The accident occurred in Newton,
Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. Each train consisted of two light rail trolley cars and carried two crew members—a train operator at the front of the lead car and a trail operator in the second car. The operator of the striking train, 24 year old Terrese Edmonds, was killed; the other three crew members sustained minor injuries. An estimated 185 to 200 passengers were on the two trains at the time of the collision. Of these, four sustained minor injuries, and one was seriously injured. Total damage was estimated to be about $8.6 million.

May 17, 2008 – Cleburne TX – A Union Pacific maintenance-of-way employee was killed while operating a lag-screw machine.  John Hadfield, 28 of Paoli, OK was standing in front of his machine loading supplies when he was struck by another lag-screw machine. The impact derailed Hadfield’s machine and he was pronounced dead at the scene.  The operator of the machine which struck Hadfield later pleaded guilty to manslaughter.

May 3, 2008-  WATERLOO, IA - An employee of GE Rail Services died Friday afternoon, authorities said. Waterloo Police Lt. Michael McNamee confirmed the employee was struck by a railcar just before 2:30 p.m. at the company's facility at 200 Nevada St. The name of the victim is being withheld pending notification of family. McNamee said the death appears to be accidental. "There's no reason to believe it's not," he said. According to a previous published report, the Waterloo facility is one of six locations in the nation that maintains and repairs General Electric-owned railcars. About 1,800 are leased to various companies.

On March 13, 2008, three roadway workers inspecting concrete ties in a curve were hit by a passenger train. One fatality occurred, while the other two received injuries. Exclusive track occupancy was used earlier during the inspection but not at the time of the incident. The engineer saw the employees on the track prior to the incident but was unable to avoid them.

March 5, 2008 - Sheboygan County, Wisc., March 5, 2008, BLET member killed in switching movement making a delivery Brother Frederick C. Phelps, 55, was killed in the line of duty on March 5, 2008, as he was crushed between two railroad cars while making a delivery. He was working as a Wisconsin & Southern Railroad employee when died about 9:20 p.m. on March 5 at Lakeside Foods Co. He belonged to BLET Division 184 in Schiller Park, Wisc. Prior to working at the Wisconsin & Southern, Brother Phelps was a conductor for the CN/Wisconsin Central. Brother Phelps entered into the United States Navy in 1972 and was honorably discharged in 1976. He worked on his family farm for many years until he entered into the Peace Corps where he taught agriculture in Honduras from 1984 until 1989. He married Sara E. Puerto Flores on March 1, 1996 in Honduras. He is survived by his wife Sara; two sons Jeffrey J. Phelps and F. Quincy Phelps of Whiting, Ind.; three daughters Millicent C. Phelps and Jennifer M. Phelps both of Whiting, Ind. and Cresent V. Harris of Jacksonville, Fla.; his mother Alice H. Phelps and her companion Donald Backus of Gouverneur, N.Y.; two sisters Melinda K. Virnig and her companion Thomas Ritchie of Harrisville, N.Y. and Teresa Y. and Maurice Gutierrez of Alamogordo, N.M.; two grandchildren and several nieces and nephews

February 27, 2008 - Charny Quebec - Michel Ouellet, 53, a CN Rail employee with 34 years of experience as a train conductor and member of UTU Local 4 in Charny, Quebec, was killed Feb. 27 while replacing a knuckle on a train.

February 10, 2008 – {C}{C}{C}{C}A NJ Transit employee was killed this morning in Bergen County after he was struck by a train, a transit spokeswoman said. Simplicio Nino, of Clifton, was fatally struck while he stood on the tracks east of the Ridgewood Station about 8:15 a.m., said NJ Transit spokeswoman Penny Bassett Hackett. Nino, 58, was a welder with 36 years of railroad experience, she said. The train carrying 20 passengers from Hoboken was en route to Suffern, N.Y., where it was scheduled to arrive at 8:43 a.m. All of the riders transferred to another train at about 10 a.m. Service on the Main Line was suspended as NJ Transit Police investigated. It was restored by 1 p.m. NJ Transit Executive Director Richard R. Sarles will lead an internal investigation, Bassett Hackett said. "We feel this tragedy profoundly, particularly given the years of service Mr. Nino had with NJ Transit," Sarles said.


December 27, 2007 - Yorkville, IL - UTU Local 171 member and BNSF conductor Hubert Marshall Aull, 62, of Oswego, Ill., was killed Dec. 27 in a switching accident at Yorkville, Ill.

November 10, 2007 - Bertram Calif - Two BLET members killed in rear-end collision on UP's Yuma Subdivision. Brothers Artino and Walker were both members of BLET Division 660 in Los Angeles. Brother Artino joined the BLET on July 1, 2004, and had worked for the railroad since June of 1998. Brother Walker joined the BLET on October 1, 2006, and began railroading in March of 2004.

October 27, 2007 - Raceland, KY - A CSX employee died early Saturday morning after being caught between two rail cars at the Greenup County rail yard in Raceland. Raceland police said William L. Worsham, 52, was killed. CSX spokesman Gary Sease said the fatal accident happened during a routine switching movement, with no initial indication of any improper action. Worsham was on the end of a moving locomotive when it hit a parked rail car, he said. The accident remains under investigation. Worsham is believed to be a resident of the area, although his address remains unconfirmed. A call came in to Greenup County 911 at 1:04 a.m. with the Raceland Fire Department, Greenup EMS and Worthington and Raceland police responding. The incident happened at the same rail yard where emergency officials have responded to several chemical leaks in recent weeks. Residents of the immediate area said they believe there was a derailment Saturday morning during the incident that killed Worsham. CSX officials have not released information about a derailment or confirmed what the nearby residents believe they saw in the hours after Worsham’s death. The fatal accident comes on the heels of multiple incidents at the Raceland rail yard in recent weeks. Most recently railroad workers and emergency response crews were called to the area to deal with a leaking tanker carrying a load of hydrochloric acid solution. The hydrochloric acid release caused law enforcement to shut down U.S. 23 for several hours, evacuate about 20 residences along Vine Street in Raceland, issue a shelter-in-place order for the area and closed four school systems — Russell and Raceland on the Kentucky side of the Ohio River, as well as Ironton and Ironton St. Joseph.

October 23, 2007 - Contra Costa County, CA - A Union Pacific Bridge & Building Gang Foreman was killed when he was struck by a train while inspecting a railroad bridge.

October 19, 2007 - Scioto County, OH - A Norfolk Southern electrician was killed at a workstation by undetermined causes.

October 18, 2007 - McCurtain County, OK - Larry B.Green, 59, died March 2, 2008 after being hospitalized about four months in a semi-comatose state following a truck/train collision in McCurtain   County, Okla on October 18, 2007. He was a member of UTU Local 733, DeQueen, Ark. Green was an engineer for DeQueen & Eastern Railroad Co., which is a subsidiary of the Weyerhaeuser Co. According to reports, the collision caused Green to have a massive stroke from which he never recovered. A log truck collided with Green’s train Oct. 18. The truck was loaded with logs. The logs hit the cab of the train and struck Green. Two other railroad employees were injured but not critically. The truck driver was pronounced dead at the scene from massive injuries.

August 30, 2007 - Stockton, CA - Walter White, of Local 1241 in Richmond, Calif., was killed early on the morning Aug. 30 in a switching accident at the BNSF’s Mormon yard in Stockton, Calif. According to Local Chairperson Anthony Bojorques Jr., White was riding the side of a rail car being shoved when he struck a tank car on an adjacent track. White was 50 years old and had only been railroading about two years. "We have a fairly young workforce here and we tell them this is a dangerous job, but they don't realize it. Then this accident happened literally right in front of the yard office door. Now we have a lot of employees in shock; the reality of the job is starting to hit a lot of these younger folks," Bojorques said.

August 25, 2007 - Crown Point, IN - Henry Salinas, 43, a member of UTU Local 1381 in Hammond, Ind., was killed Aug. 25 while switching rail cars at the Indiana Harbor Belt’s yard in Crown   Point, Ind. He died about 6:30 a.m. when he was run over by a rail car. Salinas, a UTU member since 2003, had been married just two months.

August 2, 2007 - Crook County, WY - County Coroner Mike Frolander said that a railroad worker died of crush injuries following a work related accident on a BNSF rail along Highway 51 just inside the Crook County line between Gillette and Moorcroft. Charles Willey, 59, of Chappell, Nebraska, was an employee of BNSF and was living temporarily in Newcastle at the time of his death. Willey was operating a large crane on the main track Thursday morning when it “somehow tipped over and the result is a fatality,” said BNSF spokesman, Gus Melonas. It appeared that the 60 foot boom was swinging at an angle that caused the crane to lose its balance and fall over. Willey died instantly from injuries sustained in the accident.

July 27, 2007 - Fulton, KY - A member of UTU Local 339 in Jackson, Tenn., was killed in an Illinois Central yardswitching accident in Fulton, Ky., July 27. Daniel Riels reportedly was run over and pinned beneath a rail car and suffered what were termed fatal “crushing injuries.” His brother was working nearby and was one of the first to respond to his call for assistance. It took emergency responders almost two hours to extract him from the rigging — while he remained conscious — but died enroute to the hospital

July 7, 2007 - Berry, AZ - Christopher Blackburn, 37, a BNSF conductor and member of UTU Local 771 at Needles, Calif., was killed July 7 in an industrial-switching accident at Berry, Ariz., near Kingman. According to reports, Blackburn was riding the point of a string of covered hopper cars being pushed into a siding. Somehow he ended up beneath the wheels of the second car. He died in the helicopter enroute to the hospital.

October 23, 2007–Martinez, CA at approximately 12:37 p.m., a freight train struck a bridge inspector on the west end of a bridge approach near Martinez, CA, resulting in a fatality. The employee was using individual train detection while engaged in inspection activity, and was unable to occupy a place of safety prior to the arrival of the train.

June 30, 2007 - Ft McMurray, Alberta - Darina Valentik was a small woman — just 115 pounds and a shade over five feet tall. She wasn’t built for hard labour. In June 2007, the 34-year-old sparkplug had recently returned to Canada after teaching English in Thailand. A free-spirited traveller trained in homeopathy, she hoped to become a pilot and work in Canada’s North. First, she needed money. In bustling Fort McMurray, she quickly found a job as a labourer. “She didn’t want to be a heavy equipment operator,” recalls her mother. “She said, ‘Oh mom, it’s just a part-time job. It’s just for a few days.’ ” Darina worked at a yard at Athabasca Northern Railway, a busy transportation link shipping materials for major oilsands players. Earning $20 an hour at Chief Hauling Contractors Inc., Darina’s responsibilities included ensuring railcars moving petroleum coke were properly connected. Less than three weeks into the job, on the morning of June 30, she faced trouble. The knuckles of some railcars weren’t lining up and Darina struggled to fix the problem with a crowbar. With one misstep, her size 4 right foot got stuck in a small gap between two rail tracks. No one was at the controls to stop the slow-moving train. In the first hour of her first day working alone, Darina was trapped. The car moved toward her at a pace less than walking speed. A nearby truck driver, there to deliver coke, scrambled to pull her free, but failed. The hopper-style car rolled over her leg, then crushed her slender body. A federal work site investigator’s report found Darina died from “multiple traumatic injuries.” The report, obtained by the Herald, states it didn’t appear she was told during training to stop the cars before trying to fix the rail coupling problem. Darina was following the “inadequate” instructions she had been given, it concluded. After Darina’s death, her employers said they didn’t know she was working alone that day. Chief Hauling Contractors was charged under the Canada Labour Code for failing to ensure Darina was made aware of every known or foreseeable health or safety hazard on site. The company pleaded guilty and was fined $225,000. “When I close my eyes, I see her blood on the tracks,” her mother says. “When I open my eyes, I still see her blood on the tracks.”

May 3, 2007 - Suffolk County, MA -Stephen M. Parkerof UTU Local 262 at Boston, Mass., died May 3, 2007, of a heart attack while working as a flagman for Amtrak. He had been riding on a forklift that was stuck and then dragged by an Amtrak train. New England States Legislative Director George Casey said Parker, an Amtrak employee for 31 years, was a former local chairperson. “He was a great family guy. He always remained active in local union activities up until his untimely death. He is survived on the railroad by his brother, John Parker, who is an Amtrak conductor,” Casey said.

April 29, 2007 - New York, NY - The northbound G train hit the workers in the Hoyt Street-Schermerhorn Street station just after 4 p.m. One of them, Marvin Franklin, 55, of St. Albans, Queens, a transit employee for more than 20 years, was apparently dragged half the length of the station and was found dead under the train. Reached by telephone last night, Mr. Franklin’s family declined to talk about the accident. An authority statement described him as having a wife and son.

April 24, 2007 - New York, NY - At approximately 11:20 p.m. on April 24th, NYC Transit Track Worker Daniel Boggs, 42, was struck and killed by a downtown 3 train in the vicinity of the 59th Street - Columbus Circle station. Boggs was part of a two-person team that was in the process of setting up flagging lanterns - which warn train operators that crews are on the tracks in that area -- in preparation for scheduled switch and rail replacement work along the 7th Ave IRT last night. A Board of Inquiry-- an independent review panel -- has been convened by the NYC Transit Office of System Safety to investigate the circumstances of this incident and to establish cause. "We will leave no stone unturned as we investigate the circumstances of this incident," said NYC Transit President Howard H. Roberts, Jr. "On behalf of the entire NYC Transit family, I extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife, family, friends, loved ones and co-workers who are dealing with this tragic loss. Daniel Boggs was a dedicated and hard working employee who was well liked and, more importantly, well respected by his colleagues." Daniel Boggs is survived by his wife and three children and a brother who is also a NYC Transit employee.

April 23, 2007 - Toronto Canada - Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) maintenance worker Anthony (Tony) Almeida died. He was crushed to death when scaffolding on a flatbed car caught on a cable dangling from a tunnel wall and careened on top of the subway work car Almeida was operating. Tony, 38 years old, had worked for TTC for the past five years. He was known by his co-workers as a model employee and leaves behind his wife and two children—an eight-year-old son and a five-year-old daughter. About 1,000 family, friends and co-workers gathered at his funeral to pay tribute. Hundreds of TTC workers walked out of the Hillcrest maintenance complex, lining both sides of the street for several city blocks as the funeral procession passed by.

March 12, 2007 - Piketon, OH-  A railroad worker was struck and killed by a train Monday in Pike County in southern Ohio, authorities said. The victim was an employee of Norfolk Southern Railway, Pike County Sheriff Larry Travis said in a statement. The Batavia man was struck by a northbound Norfolk Southern train while he was working on a piece of equipment, Travis said.

January 14, 2007 - Valley Stream, New York - A Long Island Rail Road worker supervising repairs to the tracks between Valley Stream and Rosedale was struck by a train yesterday and later died, MTA police said. The LIRR employee, 50, whose name was not released, was leading a crew of four at 9:55 a.m. when he was hit by a westbound 9:12 a.m. train from Babylon, Det. Sgt. Andrew Roderick said. "He wasn't actually on the track," Roderick said. "He was just next to it, but he was close enough." The foreman, a 21-year employee, was conscious when emergency workers flew him to Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow, where he was pronounced dead at about noon, Roderick said. A horn had sounded to indicate a train was near and the foreman had alerted his crew to get out of the way. All five moved away from an eastbound train, Roderick said, but the foreman apparently didn't realize another train, heading west, was coming about a minute later. He was walking back to the spot where he had been working when the train hit him, Roderick said.  BY JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER and JENNIFER MALONEY, Newsday Staff Writers

January 9, 2007 - Woburn, MA - Two members of a track maintenance crew were killed Tuesday when a Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority train struck a piece of track repair equipment in Woburn, Mass. Officials said that the incident happened at about 1:30 p.m. at the Salem Street Bridge near the Anderson station in Woburn. One of the men who died was Christopher Macaulay, 30, of Brentwood, N.H. The other victim's name was not released. John Hickey, 50, and Edwin Olson, 55, both of Lowell, were injured in the crash, according to the Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad -- the company that employs the workers. "MBCR is stunned and deeply saddened by today's horrific tragedy. Our hearts go out to the family and loved ones of these workers," MBCR General Counsel Richard A. Davey Jr. said. One worker was on the equipment at the time of the crash, and five others were standing nearby, according to MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo. One worker was medflighted to a Boston hospital.


Dec. 18, 2006 – Selkirk, NY - CSX Transportation Incorporated (CSX) 53 years-old car inspector with 13 years of service was fatally injured during a collision between a locomotive and the all terrain vehicle (ATV) he was driving at a highway-rail grade crossing.

Dec. 4, 2006 – Carson, CA - Union Pacific Railroad (UP) 35 years-old brakeman with 8 years, 11 months of service was fatally injured during a collision with a delivery truck at a highway-rail grade crossing, during a switching operation.

November 30, 2006 - Alexandria, VA - About 930 AM, a northbound Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail Yellow Line subway train struck and fatally injured two Metrorail employees who were performing a routine walking inspection along an outdoor section of main track near the Eisenhower Avenue station in Alexandria, Virginia. The accident occurred as the northbound train was traveling along track normally used for southbound traffic.

November 11, 2006 -  At 0210 eastern standard time, a spike puller operator was fatally injured while attempting to perform repairs to his machine at Mile 223.0 of the Canadian National (CN) Railway's Kingston subdivision. The operator was an employee of Total Track Railway Construction and Maintenance Services Inc. and was working on a tie gang under contract to CN.

November 10, 2006 - Baxter CA - Crew members on a runaway maintenance train found themselves on a harrowing ride down a steep Sierra slope as they tried frantically to slam on the brakes before it derailed in a fatal pileup, investigators said Friday. They noticed the train began picking up speed on its descent toward the Sacramento Valley but could not slow it down using its regular braking system. The emergency brake slowed it just slightly before the train's supervisor — in a final, desperate move — threw the locomotive engine into reverse, said Dave Watson, the investigator in charge of the incident for the National Transportation Safety Board. Two crew members who tried to apply the emergency brakes were killed, and their bodies were pulled from the smoldering wreckage early Friday morning. The other eight workers aboard the train were not injured.

Oct. 26, 2006 – Cisco, UT - Union Pacific Railroad (UP) 46 years-old Spike Puller Operator with 28 years of service was fatally injured when struck by on-track equipment.

Oct. 13, 2006 – Pajaro, CA - Union Pacific Railroad (UP) 49 years-old brakeman with 2 years, 8 months of service was struck and killed by three coupled railroad cars at the UP’s Watsonville Junction Yard in Pajaro, California. The brakeman had been assigned to a two-person crew (one brakeman, one conductor) designated as LRQ42R-13, which was a regular weekday assignment. Their assignment was to switch railroad cars using a remote-controlled locomotive.

Sept. 27, 2006 – Harvey, IL - Northeast Illinois Regional Commuter Rail Corporation (NIRC) 43 years-old METRA Police Department patrol officer with 3 years, 7 months service was fatally injured by gunshot wounds while conducting surveillance of a METRA commuter station where there had been recent criminal activity.

Sept. 10, 2006 – East   St. Louis, IL - Alton and Southern Railway Company (ALS) 44 years old conductor with 8 months of service was fatally injured when crushed between two locomotives during a switching operation.

September 3, 2006 - Log Cabin, British Columbia - A White Pass and Yukon Route work train ran uncontrolled down a steep grade and derailed the locomotive and six ballast cars.  The conductor, engineer and a heavy equipment operator were seriously injured. A second heavy equipment operator, 45 year old Bruce Harder, was killed. He was survived by his wife and six children.

Aug. 25, 2006 – Chicago, IL - Norfolk Southern Corporation (NS) 43 years old conductor with 13 years of service was fatally injured when struck by on-track equipment while attempting to apply a hand brake on moving equipment, during a switching operation.

August 21, 2006 - Rockledge, FL - Florida East Coast Railway Company (FEC) 45 years old conductor with 22 years of service was fatally injured when crushed between the end of a rail car and a tractor-trailer truck during a switching operation.

Aug. 16, 2006 – Atwater, CA – Union Pacific Railroad (UP) 47 year old Maintenance of Way (MOW) Supervisor with 21 years of service was fatally injured when struck by a highway vehicle while preparing to move his dump truck to a better location for transporting a bundle of railroad ties.

July 11, 2006 – Memphis, TN – Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (BNSF) 52 year-old car inspector with 23 years, 10 months of service was struck by on-track equipment while searching for a defective rail car.

June 29, 2006. Lillooet Subdivision, near Lillooet, British Columbia. A CN freight train consisting of 1 locomotive and 1 car loaded with lumber derailed after losing control while descending a steep grade near Lillooet. When the crew realized the train was in a runaway situation, the conductor decoupled the loaded lumber car from the locomotive, climbed onto the car and began to make his way over the lumber to apply the hand brake located on the other end of the car. With the connection between the locomotive and the car severed, the 2 began to separate. Having separated from the locomotive by about 200 feet, the car derailed to the outside of a curve. The conductor was thrown from the derailing car and was killed. The lumber car came to rest about 1,000 feet below the rail right-of-way. The locomotive continued to accelerate. At a curve in the track, the locomotive derailed and slid about 800 feet down the mountain. The trainman was thrown from the locomotive and sustained fatal injuries. The locomotive engineer was thrown off and sustained serious injuries. The locomotive came to rest about 800 feet below the rail right-of-way. Conductor Don Faulkner and brakeman Tom Dodd were both members of UTU Local 10778 and both died.  Gordon Rhodes, the engineer survived but was badly injured. In 2009, a memorial dedicated to Faulkner and Dodd was unveiled in Lillooet

June 19, 2006 - Winslow, Ariz - BLET Local Chairman killed traveling to National Division Convention in Las Vegas. Brother Eddie Sanchez, Local Chairman of BLET Division 134 in Winslow, Ariz., was killed in an automobile accident while driving to represent his division as a Delegate to the BLET's First Quadrennial Convention in Las Vegas. He was 54 years old and is survived by his wife, Donna, four children and two grandchildren. Delegates voted unanimously to establish an "Eddie Sanchez Memorial Fund" and collected more than $33,000 to donate to the Sanchez family. He was a locomotive engineer on the former Santa Fe lines for the past 33 years and joined the BLET on June 1, 1975.

June 22, 2006 - Gloucester, Massachusetts - Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad (MBAX) 36 year-old trackman with 7 years of service was fatally injured when struck by on-track equipment while replacing cross ties.

April 2, 2006 - Palmer, Michigan - Lake Superior & Ishpeming Railroad Company (LSI) 51 year old Conductor with 11 years of service fell off the car he was riding during a switching operation.

March 3, 2006 – Berwyn, IL – Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (BNSF) 58 years-old Ticket Agent with 40 years of service was fatally injured when struck by a collapsing building caused when an out-of-control automobile struck the southeast corner of the train station.

Feb. 7, 2006 - Tacoma, Washington – Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation (BNSF) 55 years-old Car Inspector with 25 years of service was fatally injured by a sudden, unexpected movement of on-track equipment during a jacking/lifting operation while a derailed train was being re-railed.



December 4, 2005 - Burlington IA - BNSF brakeman, Keith W. Myers, was killed while riding the side of a rail car when he was pinched between the car and a walkway that went over the track.

October 5, 2005 - Laramie WY - A Union Pacific Railroad tamping machine operator died when he was struck by a westbound train.

Houston, Texas - September 15, 2005 - Local Chairman killed in head-on collision. Brother G.Y. Bailey, Local Chairman of BLET Division 62 in Houston, was killed on September 15 when his train collided head-on with a southbound chemical train in dark territory about 60 miles northeast of Houston. Both Union Pacific trains derailed, causing a hazmat spill. Along with serving as his Division's local chairman, he was actively involved in the organization as a primary member of the BLET Safety Task Force and the National Mobilization Team. He also served as Chairman of the Southwestern Convention Meeting in 2004. Brother Bailey, 51, began working for Union Pacific in 1978 and joined the BLE in 1992. NTSB Accident Brief

July 21, 2005 - Emporia KS - 27 year-old Christopher Jones fell from the back of a rail car on a Burlington Northern - Santa Fe train and was pinned when a grain hauler and tanker came together.

Anding, Miss. -- July 10, 2005 -- Two BLET members killed in head-on collision BLET Division 203 (Jackson, Miss.) members Mark Cain and Arthur "Buddy" Irby were killed on July 10, 2005, when their CN/IC locomotives collided head-on in Anding, Miss. Two other crew members were also killed in the collision. Conductors Shannon Purvis, 21, of Puckett, Miss., and Samuel Jones Sr., 58, of Jackson, Miss. were both members of the United Transportation Union. Brother Cain, 51, joined the BLE on November 1, 1986. Brother Irby, 58, joined the BLE on October 1, 1973. NTSB Report

June 24, 2005 - Hereford TX -  A Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway maintenance of way trackman died after a company train struck him near Hereford.  Robert G. Chavez, 47, of Clovis, N.M., was pronounced dead at a railroad crossing about a mile east of Hereford, according to a Texas Department of Public Safety report. Chavez had worked for BSNF for 21 years. Chavez and a BNSF foreman, whose name was not available late Friday, were working on tracks at the intersection of FM. 2943 and U.S. Highway 60, where three tracks run east and west, the report said. Both men were bent over, working on the tracks about 9:45 when an eastbound BNSF train, headed to Amarillo from Clovis, struck Chavez. The foreman was able to apparently jump away from the train, the DPS report said.

April 11, 2005 - Salt Lake City UT - Anthon Petersen, 38, of UTU Local 1366 was found dead in Riverdale Yard apparently the victim of an accident. Brother Petersen, a Union Pacific switchman, was believed to be riding on a car when he slipped and fell underneath.

April 6, 2005 - Selma AL - James Earl Dixon, 48, a Norfolk Southern Railway employee was killed after being struck by a train at the NS Jeff Davis Avenue yard in Selma. Brother Dixon was a member of UTU Local 1053 at Selma.

February 17, 2005 - near Perryville Maryland - An AMTRAK electrical traction lineman, Rob Collins, was electrocuted while taking alignment readings of overhead electrical wires.

February 3, 2005 - Granite City IL - A 46 year old US Steel switchman was killed at the Granite City plant. David M Prengel was aboard a cargo train when he disembarked to activate warning signals when he was struck and dragged by the train. Prengel was a member of USW Local Union 1899 in District 7.

Graniteville, S.C. -- January 6, 2005 -- BLET member killed in Norfolk Southern derailmentBrother Christopher G. Seeling, Secretary-Treasurer of BLET Division 85 (Columbia, S.C.), was killed on January 6 when his Norfolk Southern train collided with another train that was stopped in a siding. He was one of eight people to die in the accident. Brother Seeling, 28, joined the BLET on March 1, 2001.  [Read NTSB report] Eight people lost their lives in the Graniteville train disaster on the day of the accident:

  • Christopher Seeling, 28, of West Columbia, South Carolina, engineer of Norfolk Southern's through train (who was found at the crash site, and later died at the hospital);

  • Willie C. Shealey, 43, of Graniteville, employee of Avondale Mills, Inc. (who was found in the wooded area around the Woodhead Division of Avondale Mills, Inc.);

  • John Laird, 24, of North Augusta, South Carolina, employee of Avondale Mills, Inc. (who also was found in the wooded area around the Woodhead Division of Avondale Mills, Inc.);

  • Fred "Rusty" Rushton, III, 41, of Warrenville, South Carolina, employee of Avondale Mills, Inc. (who was found on the loading dock of the Stevens Steam Plant, belonging to Avondale Mills, Inc.);

  • Steven Bagby, 38, of Augusta, Georgia, employee of Avondale Mills, Inc. (who was found in the Gregg Division of Avondale Mills, Inc.);

  • Allen Frazier, 58, of Ridge Spring, South Carolina, employee of Avondale Mills, Inc. (who was also found in the Gregg Division of Avondale Mills, Inc.);

  • Joseph L. Stone, of Quebec, Canada, an employee of JW Express Trucking Company; and

  • Tony DeLoach, 56, of Graniteville, South Carolina (who was found in his homeon Main Street, Graniteville, South Carolina, near the train wreck).

  • On April 21, 2005, one more death was attributed to the accident. Leonard Mathis, a brick mason in Graniteville, was driving home from a convenience store just after the accident occurred. On his way home, he passed through a portion of the chlorine cloud that resulted from the collision. His health deteriorated from that point.

January 11, 2005 – Steubenville, OH - A longtime employee of Wheeling-Pittsburgh Steel Corp. died Monday at the company's North Plant after being hit by a train in the rail yard. Kenneth Cesaro of Wintersville was a conductor on the trains that carried material among the steel plants. Reportedly, the accident happened while he was lining a switch to change direction for an incoming train. He had been with the company for 33 years. Cesaro was the part-time chief of police for the village of Hopedale for at least seven years, worked part-time as a sergeant with the Cross Creek Township Police Department for six years and was an auxiliary member of the Wintersville Police Department from 1974 until he retired in 1998, according to officials.

January 05, 2005 - Amarillo TX -  An Amarillo man died Wednesday night after a Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway train hit him. Gene Blackburn Harrison, 42, was pronounced dead at the scene, Harrison managed Centergas Inc.'s Amarillo facility which supplies propane gas to the BNSF. About 7 p.m., Harrison was with another Centergas employee and a tow-truck driver just west of Farm-to-Market Road 2373 and U.S. Highway 60, where they were trying to free a truck that was hung up on the north side of the tracks. Harrison may have been walking along the tracks in search of the tow truck. Deputies who responded to the scene reported Harrison may have slipped or stepped back onto the tracks accidentally.


Niland, Calif. -- December 10, 2004 -- BLET member killed in collision of two Union Pacific trainsBrother Kenneth Leonard of BLET Division 5 (Los Angeles, Calif.) was killed in a head-on collision between two Union Pacific freight trains on December 10. Brother Leonard joined the BLE on November 1, 1992. He was 44 years old. Four other crew members were taken for medical treatment as a precaution for what were considered minor injuries. Five locomotives and seven rail cars were derailed.

Clovis, N.M. -- September 2, 2004 -- BLET members killed in remote control switching accident.  Glen A. "Skip" York, II, a member of Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen Division 811, was killed in a remote control switching accident in the Burlington Northern Santa Fe yard in Clovis, N.M., on September 2. Brother York, 26, joined BLET Division 811 in Clovis on April 1, 2004, following in the footsteps of his father, Glen A. York, who also belongs to Division 811.

Macdona, Texas -- June 28, 2004 -- BLET member dies as a result of chlorine gas leak following collision. Brother Heath Pape, a member of BLET Division 197 in San Antonio, Texas, was killed in the collision between a Union Pacific train and a BNSF train on Monday, June 28. Brother Pape had just joined the BLET. He was 23 years old. The train derailed around Southwest Loop 1604 and Nelson Road, near the town of Macdona. A total of 23 cars from the two trains derailed, according to fire officials. NTSB REPORT

New Orleans -- June 25, 2004 -- BLET member dies in collision with gasoline tanker truck. BLET Division 230 (Meridian, Miss.) member Dennis Vinson was killed in a collision between his Norfolk Southern train and a gasoline tanker truck on June 25. He was 58 years old. Brother Vinson joined the BLET on June 1, 1990. The train had a three-man crew. The train's conductor, Anthony J. "Tony" Mills, 58, was also killed in the accident, and the brakeman, Charles LaBella, 58, jumped off the rear of the train and suffered minor injuries. The driver of the truck, Henry Blount, also died.

Gunter, Texas -- May 19, 2004 -- BLET member killed in head on collision. E.M. "Mike" Rogers, a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, was killed in a head-on train crash near Gunter, Texas, on May 19. Brother Rogers, 49, was a member of BLET Division 172 in Fort Worth, Texas. He first joined the Brotherhood on April 1, 1998.

Elwood, Ind. -- May 18, 2004 -- BLET member killed in a yard switching accident. Jeff C. York, a member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen, was killed in a yard switching accident on May 18. Brother York, 35, worked for Norfolk Southern and first joined BLET Division 106 in Muncie, Ind., on December 6, 2000. He was working as a conductor and standing on a ladder on back of a train's last box car when the accident happened. As the train backed up, he became pinned between the train and the left front fender of a semi that was making a delivery of vinegar to the Red Gold tomato processing plant in Elwood, Ind.

Carrizozo, N.M. -- February 21, 2004 -- Two BLET members killed in collision of two UP trains. Engineer Anthony C. Rodella, 57, and conductor Jeffrey S. Bohler, 32, were killed in the collision of two Union Pacific freight trains in Carrizozo, N.M., on February 21, 2004. Rodella and Bohler were both members of BLET Division 192 in El Paso, Texas. Brother Rodella joined the BLET in 1974 and Brother Bohler became a member in 2003. NTSB Accident Brief

January 14, 2004 - Kankakee, IL - A railroad worker was killed when a freight train car ran over him Wednesday in Kankakee. Steven Hall, 40, of Morocco, Ind., was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:10 p.m. "He died instantly," said Chief Deputy Coroner Bob Gessner of the Kankakee County coroner's office. Hall was killed in the railroad yard at 1709 W. Route 17, police said. Hall, a switchman for the Norfolk Southern Railroad, was run over by the last car of a train, Gessner indicated.


December 7, 2003 - SAN ANTONIO TX -- A Union Pacific railroad employee was struck and killed early Sunday by a locomotive he was operating via remote control.  Jody Allen Herstine, 37, was using the waist-strapped remote-control device, which moves trains without the need of a conductor on board, to operate two locomotives shortly before 1 a.m. at the Union Pacific railyards on the near East Side when he was run over. Reached at their Northwest Side home, Herstine's wife, Sara, was too distraught to give an interview. The couple had been married for two months.
"He was always such a good guy, loved by everybody. He'll be missed by everyone," she said amid sobs and tears as she walked into her house.  A man who identified himself as her stepfather said Herstine had been working at railyards since he was discharged from the Navy a decade ago.  Herstine had two children from a previous marriage. His parents and three sisters live in Pittsburgh, where he was born and raised, said the stepfather, who did not want his name used.

December 6, 2003 – Wellesley, MA - Massachusetts Bay Commuter Railroad - 59 years-old Bridge and Building Mechanic (Watchman/Lookout) with 15 years of service, acting as Watchman/Lookout for the rest of the MOW gang, was fatally injured when struck by an on-coming freight train.

October 30, 2003 – Argyle, IA - Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation - 60 years-old Track Foreman with 28 years of service was struck by an on-coming freight train and fatally injured while directing track maintenance activities.

October 22, 2003 – Grenada, MS - Illinois Central Railroad - 39 years-old Carpenter with 9 years of service fell from a railroad trestle and drowned while assisting other bridge workers in the replacement of old bridge ties

October 20, 2003 – Copiague, NY - Long Island Railroad - 41 years-old Electrician/Third Railman (acting as Watchman/Lookout) with 17 years of service, who was acting as Watchman/Lookout for his MOW gang, was fatally injured when struck in the back by an oncoming passenger train.

September 24, 2003 – Fresno, CA - Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation - 35 years-old Yard Foreman with 2 years, 3 months of service was fatally injured when struck by rail equipment when he fell from a freight car during a switching movement.

September 14, 2003 – Ogden, UT - Union Pacific Railroad Company - 53 years-old Conductor with 26 years of service was riding the end of a free-rolling, 2-car cut, whose speed he was controlling with a handbrake, when he fell, and the cars ran over him, amputating his legs. Still alive at the scene, the Conductor was airlifted to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

September 12, 2003 – Dublin, GA - Georgia Central Railway Company - 45 years-old Conductor with 2 months of service was fatally injured when crushed between two rail cars during a switching movement.

August 26, 2003 – Chester, SC - Lancaster and Chester Railway Company - 29 years-old Conductor with 2 years of service was fatally injured when crushed between two rail cars during a switching movement.

June 8, 2003 – Buena Park, CA - Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation - 34 years-old Conductor died early Sunday morning in Buena Park after jumping from a freight train he apparently thought was about to collide with an oncoming train, police and train officials said. Kevin Osher, 33, of Canoga Park, who had worked at least five years as a conductor with Burlington Northern, died from injuries suffered in the jump west of Dale Street. Paramedics pronounced him dead at the scene.

June 6, 2003 – Kingsport, TN - CSX Transportation, Incorporated - 35 years-old Brakeman with 3 years of service - during a backing maneuver to dock his trailer, a Tractor-Trailer Operator’s vehicle jack-knifed into the side of a railroad switching movement, striking, pinning, and fatally injuring the Brakeman, who was riding the northeast corner side ladder of the lead rail car.

May 14, 2003 - McBride, British Columbia - BLE member Art P. McKay of BLET Division 843 (Prince George, B.C.) and UTU conductor Ken LeQuesne were killed in the line of duty on May 14, 2003, as a railroad trestle collapsed under their Canadian National freight train. Two locomotives and six cars plunged into a ravine and caught fire. Brother McKay joined the BLE on May 1, 1981.

May 7, 2003 - Hinesville, GA - BLET member killed when Amtrak train hits log truck. L.W. "Wayne" Edenfield died on May 7, 2003, from injuries sustained in an Amtrak collision with a log truck near Hinesville, Ga. Brother Edenfield was a member of BLET Division 35 (Jacksonville, Fla.), having served a term as its Secretary-Treasurer in the late 1990s. He first joined the BLET on April 1, 1983. Brother Edenfield, 53, was the locomotive engineer of Amtrak's Silver Star (Train No. 91) when a log truck pulled into his path at 7:25 a.m. in Liberty County, east of Hinesville, Ga. The locomotive and all 10 cars derailed, but they remained upright.

April 11, 2003 – Pocatello, ID - Union Pacific Railroad Company - 55 years-old Conductor with 24 years of service received a fatal head injury during a switching operation when the car the Conductor was riding derailed and flipped on its side.

April 1, 2003 - Laguana Niguel CA - Two workers inspecting tracks for MetroLink were Struck and killed by a fast moving AMTRAK train. NTSB Accident Brief

February 18, 2003 - Cheektowaga, New York - CSX Transportation, Incorporated - 51 years-old Conductor with 29 years of service was fatally injured when crushed between two box cars during a switching operation.

February 16, 2003 – East Syracuse, NY - CSX Transportation, Incorporated - 36 years-old Switchman (Secondary Remote Control Operator) with 2 ½ years of service was fatally injured when he slipped or fell in front of an approaching freight car which ran over him.

February 13, 2003 - Scottsbluff NE - A BNSF conductor was killed when his coal train collided with a BNSF yard train on the main track.

February 11, 2003 – Flat Rock, MI - Illinois Central Railroad (subsidiary of Canadian National Railroad) - 57 years-old Brakeman with 31 years of service was fatally injured when struck by rail cars during a shoving movement.

Jan. 14, 2003 – Waycross, GA - CSX Transportation, Incorporated - 46 years-old Bridge Mechanic with 27 years of service died following surgery one day following crushing his right index and ring finger when a work crew attempted to dismantle a crane and its rear counter weight and boom, resulting in the counter weight falling on the Bridge Mechanic’s hand.

FRA Analysis of 2003 U.S. Railroad Fatalities


Jamaica, NY - September 27, 2002 - An AirTrain-JFK light rail transit train operator was killed when his train derailed in a curve on the aerial guideway that runs between the Howard Beach Station and the Federal Circle Station near JFK International Airport.

Clarendon, Texas - May 28, 2002 "Member G.D. Shelby killed in fiery head-on collision". BLE member G.D. Shelby was killed and three other train crew members were injured in a fiery head-on collision between two Burlington Northern Santa Fe trains near Clarendon, Texas, on May 28, 2002. Brother G.D. Shelby, 61, was killed when the westbound freight train on which he was the engineer collided with an eastbound coal train about two miles west of Clarendon. Brother Shelby joined BLE Division 871 in Slaton, Texas, on September 1, 1989. NTSB Report

Wilmington, Del. -- March 21, 2002 "Local Chairman killed by Amtrak train". Brother Charles B. "Charlie" Smith, 35, was struck and killed by an Amtrak train as he boarded his Norfolk Southern freight train just north of the Edgemore freight yard near Delaware. It is believed he either fell or was "sucked in" by the wind of the fast moving passenger train. Brother Smith was 22 years old when he first joined the BLE on Aug. 17, 1989. He was Local Chairman of BLE Division 484 (Delmar, Del.) at the time of his death. He is survived by a wife and two children. "He was a very conscientious union representative and a good man," said Division 484 Secretary-Treasurer Everette M. Masten Jr.


Arminto, Wyo. -- December 7, 2001 "Engineer killed in BNSF siding collision". Brother Mike W. Hoover, 48 years old, lost his life when his Burlington Northern Santa Fe train unexpectedly encountered a mainline switch lined for a siding. The train was traveling at approximately 46 mph when it collided head-on with several locomotives attached to an unoccupied train, which had been previously parked in the siding for several days. Brother Hoover joined BLE Division 207 (Casper, Wyo.) on Aug. 1, 1977. "Losing Mike is very much like losing a close family friend," said Division 207 Local Chairman Eric Kriegh.

August 16, 2001 - Amtrak repairman, Richie Hutchinson crushed by machine.

Springfield Township, Mich. -- November 15, 2001 "Engineer killed in CN head-on collision". Brother T.O. "Tom" Landris, a 27-year member of BLE Division 650 (Durand, Mich.), was killed in a head-on collision just outside of Detroit, Mich. Also killed was UTU Member Gary Chase. Their train, #243, was traveling from Flat Rock, Mich., to Flint, Mich., when it collided head-on with train #533, in a siding near Springfield Township. A fiery blaze ensured, forcing the evacuation of 100 homes in the area. The cause of the crash is still under investigation. Brother Landris was 49 years old at the time of his death. Following this tragedy, BLE International President Don M. Hahs instituted a new policy requiring that the BLE flag atop the International Division headquarters in Cleveland, Ohio, be flown at half staff following the death of a BLE member in the line of duty.  [Note:  A memorial to Brothers Landris and Chase was commissioned by UTU Local 1736, BLE Division 650 and the CN.  It was dedicated on May 18, 2002 at the Durand Michigan annual Railroad Days.]

Lake Charles, La. -- March 21, 2001 "BLE engineer and UTU conductor killed in deadheading collision". BLE engineer Ray J. Ste. Marie, 48 years old at the time of his death, was killed while deadheading from Houston to the Union Pacific terminal in Alexandria, La. As the van he was traveling in slowed down for a highway construction zone on Interstate 10, just east of Lake Charles, La., it was rear-ended by an 18-wheeler. The van was shoved into the rear of another 18-wheeler, killing Brother Ste. Marie, the van driver, and a conductor, M. Deramus, 48. Brother Ste. Marie was a Union Pacific locomotive engineer and a member of BLE Division 366 in Houston, Texas. He joined the BLE on Sept. 1, 1980, as an engineer for the old Southern Pacific. He was Chaplain of Division 366 from 1997-2000.

South Fork, Pa. -- January 11, 2001: "BLE engineer killed inspecting locomotive". Brother D.E. Nichols Jr. of BLE Division 255 (Steubenville, Ohio) was killed the morning of January 11, 2001, near South Fork, Pa. It is believed that the Brother Nichols had stopped to inspect for flat spots and was hit by a train on an adjacent track while traveling between Conway and Harrisburg, Pa. Nichols, 52, joined BLE Division 255 in 1971 and was a resident of Richmond, Ohio. He leaves behind a son and his father.


June 26, 2000 - East Feliciana Parish, La. -  "Engineer Killed as a loaded log truck hits CN-IC train at a grade crossing". Brother Wayne Connor, 56, was elected chairman of the BLE's Louisiana State Legislative Board just before his death. He also served as president of Division 914 (Baton Rouge, La.). The fatal collision happened exactly one week after Brother Connor's 56th birthday. He first joined the BLE on Jan. 1, 1979.

April 10, 2000 - Atlanta GA - Two Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) contract employees were killed when the lift they were using was struck by an unscheduled MARTA train at the Lenox station.

February 25, 2000 - Decatur GA - A Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) automatic train control technician was struck and killed, by eastbound MARTA train 103, while inspecting signal equipment on the main track near Avondale Station.


Mont-St.- Hilaire, Quebec - December 30, 1999 "BLE Engineer and UTU Conductor killed as two CN freight trains collide 50 kilometers east of Montreal" A fiery crash of two Canadian National freight trains on December 30, 1999, in Mont-St.- Hilaire, Quebec, led to the tragic death of two railroad workers, including BLE member Yvan Theriault. Also killed was Conductor Paul Davis. Theriault, 47, was a member of BLE Division 558 (Charny, Quebec). He joined the BLE on September 1, 1977. He left behind a wife, Diane Tremblay, a son, Frederic, and a daughter, Caroline. Two trains were traveling in opposite directions on different tracks when they collided in Mont-St.-Hilaire, about 50 kilometers east of Montreal. CN officials speculate one of the trains derailed and tipped over onto the other. The accident caused a fire ball that sent flames shooting 50 metres into the air, lighting up the night sky.

Hardin County, Iowa - November 6, 1999 "Engineer killed as Union Pacific freight train struck a tractor-trailer that ignored grade crossing signal". R. A. Oertwig, 48 years old at the time of death, a member of BLE Division 778 in Des Moines, Iowa. Had been a BLE member for 19 years.

Clinton, Iowa - August 11, 1999 "I&M Rail Link Engineers die as their Union Pacific freight train hits cars left on track". Engineer Carl Finzel, 60 years old at the time of death, a member of BLE Division 119 in Dubuque, Iowa. Had been a member for 30 years. Conductor Arnold Roth, also a member of BLE Division 119. Had been a member for 2 years.

July 1999 - Chicago IL - Metra conductor, Wilbert Hooten, was shot an killed when he was robbed on the job. His killers were caught, convicted and sentenced to prison. Brother Hooten was a member of UTU Local 1290 and was a few months away from his retirement.

Thamesville, Ontario - April 23, 1999 "Many fatalities averted because of two heroic VIA Rail engineers who died in derailment". Engineer Don Blain, 45 years old at the time of death, a member of BLE Division 747, Mimico, Ontario. Had been a member for 15 years.Engineer Kevin Lihou, 34 years old at the time of death, also a member of BLE Division 747. Was a new BLE member.

Bryan, Ohio - January 17, 1999 - "Engineer killed as three Conrail trains collide in heavy fog". Engineer Roger H. Bell, 56 years old at the time of death, a member of BLE Division 457, Toledo, Ohio. Had been a BLE member for 26 years.


Hawthorne, IL - October 26, 1998 "Engineer killed when struck in yard". Debbie Dickerson, 42 years old at the time of her death, was a member of BLE Division 114 (Waterloo, Iowa). She joined the BLE on April 1, 1989, and was employed by the Illinois Central Railroad.

October 1, 1998 - Southeast Georgia - A train conductor was killed and an engineer and two passenger were injured when the "Success Express" -- a special CSX passenger train -- smashed into a stalled log truck in Long County. Both locomotives and two of the cars derailed, but none overturned.

June 18, 1998 - Portage IN - A westbound Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District train struck a semi-truck pulling two flatbed trailers loaded with steel coils at a highway crossing near Portage. One NICTD employee and two passengers were killed when a steel coil broke loose and entered the lead car through the bulkhead.

June 1, 1998 - Lubbock TX - A train accident at the Burlington Northern Santa Fe railyard killed a 24-year-old railroad employee early Monday morning. Jason Navarro of Lubbock died shortly after a he was crushed between a locomotive engine and a grain hopper car about 12:40 a.m., according to police reports. He had worked at the railroad for 10 months.

Small, Texas - May 13, 1998 "Union Pacific Engineer and Conductor killed off duty when taxi is hit by train". Engineer David Butler, 51 years old at the time of death, a member of BLE Division 192, El Paso, Texas. Had been a BLE member for 24 years.

March 25, 1998 - Butler IN - A Norfolk Southern conductor was killed when a NS Roadrailer train hit an eastbound Conrail TV train at the railroad crossing in Butler.

February 4, 1998 - Amtrak C&S trainee killed when struck by train.


Topeka, Kansas - December 11, 1997 "Engineer Hit by Passing Train After Dismounting to Inspect Locomotive Consist". Engineer J.L. (Joe) King, 46 years old at the time of death, a member of BLE Division 81 at Kansas City, Kansas, for 19 years. Had been an employee of Union Pacific Railroad for 23 years.

November 4, 1997 - Amtrak B&B mechanic, John Fabe, killed when struck by train.

Sept 29, 1997 – Hummelstown PA – A Conrail conductor was killed when Conrail train PIBE-8 struck the rear of Conrail train ENS-103. The NTSB determined the probable accident was a phantom signal indication.

Fort Worth, Texas - August 21, 1997 - A runaway Union Pacific train rolled nearly 10 miles with no one aboard and collided head-on with another train, killing two crew members and setting off a spectacular fire as more than 8,000 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from the engines and ignited, authorities said. Engineer Roy W. Adams, 54, was killed. He was a member BLE Division 568, Dennison, Texas for 22 years. The conductor, Ray V. Jagers, 45, was killed.

Rossville, KS - July 2, 1997 - Engineer Michael E. Brown, 46, was killed in a collision of two Union Pacific Railroad trains. He was a member of BLE Division 81 for over 6 years. Had been employed by Union Pacific for 19 years and was promoted to locomotive engineer in January of 1991.

June 22 1997 – Devine TX – Two Union Pacific Railroad (UP) freight trains 5981 North and 9186 South collided head-on. The trains were operating on a single main track with passing sidings in dark (non-signalized) territory in which train movement was governed by conditional track warrant control authority through a dispatcher. Terry Yarbrough, the conductor from 5981 North and Neal Wilhem, the engineer from 9186 South, and two unidentified individuals who may have been riding on 5981 North were killed in the derailment and subsequent fire. The engineer from 5981 North received minor injuries, and the conductor from 9186 South was seriously burned.

Scary Creek, WV- June 7, 1997 - A rear-end collision and chemical spill between two CSX trains killed Engineer Kelvin N. Winters, 30 years old at time of death, member of BLE Division 190, Huntington, WV.

April 24, 1997 – Philadelphia PA - A Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) track workman was fatally injured when he was struck by a SEPTA subway train at the 52nd Street Station in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Conrad, B.C. - 3/26/97 "CN Train Hits Washed Out Track and Derails". Locomotive Engineer Terrance (Terry) Allen Gallis, 39 years old at time of death, employed by Canadian National and a member of Division 855, Kamloops, B.C. Brother Gallis died as a result of his train hitting a track wash out.

January 30 1997 – Boston MA – A Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) system track repairman was fatally injured when he was struck by northbound MBTA subway train No.1285, north of the Ruggles Street Station.  Safety Board investigators discovered that the MBTA does not have a track department Safety Rule Book and they do not conduct periodic safety rules training for the track department employees.


November 27, 1996 - Amtrak trackman, Aaron King, killed when struck by train.

October 1996-  Buena Park, CA  -  A Knott's Berry Farm worker who operates the popular Calico Railroad ride was killed Sunday evening, crushed between two passenger cars in what officials said is the first employee death in the theme park's 76-year history. The fatality took place about 6 p.m., just as the park was closing for an hour before reopening for the evening as "Knott's Scary Farm," a Halloween-themed attraction.

Waycross, GA - 9/24/96 "Collision between CSX Freight Train and a Log Truck at a Grade Crossing". Engineer, William B. Smith, Jr., 57 yrs. old at time of death, employed with CSX Transportation Eastern Lines. Promoted to engineer April 9, 1962. Member of Division 803.

August 20, 1996 - Smithfield, WV - "Head on Collision between two CSXT Freight Trains". Engineer, Tom L. Shay, 42 yrs. old at time of death, employed with CSX Transportation Northern Lines. Promoted to engineer January 1995. Member of Division 284.

August 12, 1996 - Edson, Alberta - "Head on Collision of Canadian National Freight Train and Runaway Cars near Edson, Alberta". All three occupants in the operating cab of the lead locomotive of Canadian National (CN) westward freight train No. 117 were fatally injured when their train, which was travelling at about 54 mph, collided head-on with a cut of 20 runaway cars moving eastward at about 30 mph, some six miles east of Edson, Alberta. The Locomotive Engineer was Jake Elder, 45 year old at the time of his death, was employed with Canadian National Railway at Edmonton, Alberta, and a member of Division 864.

June 29, 1996 - Lyons NY -  About 7:30 a.m., eastern daylight time, on Saturday, June 29, 1996, westbound Consolidated Rail Corporation (CR) freight train TV-77 struck a Loram Badger ditch digger near Lyons, New York. The accident occurred on CR’s River Line at milepost (MP) 332.2. There are two main tracks; one is designated main track 1 and the other, main track 2. The Ditch Digger was working on track 2 and obstructing track 1. The left-front side of train TV-77’s lead locomotive unit, CR 5016, struck the Ditch Digger’s conveyor belt which was extending across track 1. The impact crushed the nose and the south side of thelocomotive cab. Train TV-77 had an engineer and a conductor. The conductor was fatally injured as a result of the impact. There were no reported injuries to the engineer or to the crew of the Ditch Digger.

February 21, 1996 - Tennessee Pass, CO "Derailment and Chemical Spill of Leadville, CO - SouthernPacific Freight Train". Engineer, J.M. Roybal, 44 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway. Promoted to engineer February 1, 1977. Member of Division 29. Student Engineer, C.W. Reagan, 34 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Denver & Rio Grande Western Railway. Student Engineer since January 1, 1996. Member of Division 29.

February 16, 1996 - Silver Springs, MD - "Side Collision of Amtrak Passenger Train and Marc Commuter Train". Engineer, Ricky M. Orr, 43 yrs. old at time of death, employed with CSXT RR. since 1970. Promoted to engineer 7/1/74. Member of Division 97.

February 9, 1996 - Secaucus, NJ - "Side Collision and Derailment of New Jersey Transit Trains 1254 & 1107". Engineer, Alfonso S. De Bonis, 47 yrs. old at time of death, employed with New Jersey Transit RR. Promoted to engineer 1/1/91. Member of Division 171. Engineer, John DeCurtis, 59 yrs. old at time of death, employed with the railroad for 40 years. Member of the United Transportation Union.

February 1, 1996 - Cajon Pass, CA - Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway Company freight train H-BALT1-31 derailed at milepost 60.4 near Cajon Junction, California. The conductor and the brakeman sustained fatal injuries; the engineer incurred serious injuries. A fire resulting from the derailment and subsequent rail car pileup engulfed the train and adjacent areas. The crash resulted in the death of two union members, conductor Gilberto Ortiz, and brakeman Kevin Williams. The engineer, Lester Foster, was seriously injured before being rescued by residents in the area of the crash.

January 6, 1996 - Gaithersburg, MD - Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) Metrorail subway train No. T-111 failed to come to a stop at the above-ground Shady Grove, Maryland, passenger station, the final station on the Metrorail Red Line. The four-car train ran by the station platform and continued about 470 feet into the Metrorail yard north of the station, where it struck a standing, unoccupied subway train that was awaiting assignment. The operator of train T-111 was fatally injured; the train’s two passengers were not injured. Total property damages were estimated to be between $2.1 and $2.6 million


December 2, 1995 - Harrison NJ - Two Port Authority workers were killed when they were struck by a PATH train. The men killed in the accident were Guido Vendittoli, 55, of Secaucus, N.J., a track foreman with 35 years of experience who had received PATH awards for work performance, and Nunzio Tinnirello, 48, of Bayonne, N.J., a track laborer who had worked for PATH for 27 years. A track inspector, Antonio Griffith, of the Bronx, was injured.

Laramie, WY - 11/18/95 "Rear-End Collision and Derailment of two Union Pacific Freight Trains". Engineer, Dale W. Gibson, 45 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Union Pacific RR-Central Region since April 1, 1978. Member of Division 103.

October 9, 1995 - Phoenix, AZ - The AMTRAK Sunset Limited derailed on Oct. 9, 1995 after it hit a stretch of track which had been bent away. The train toppled 30 feet from a trestle into a dry gulch, killing a crew member.

Zana, FL - 9/21/95 "Head-on-Collision with a Sludge Truck". Assistant Engineer, Randall L. Moses, 43 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Amtrak since August 1, 1980. Member of Division 35.

June 6, 1995. Saint-Laurent Subdivision, Langelier Spur, Saint-Léonard, Quebec. A locomotive was pushing a tank car toward a public crossing when the train hit a tractor trailer. The conductor and trainman were riding on the platform at the leading end of the tank car. Although some hand gestures were made by the trainman as the tractor-trailer approached the crossing, no one got off the train to flag and stop the truck, as required. The conductor got caught between the train and the tractor-trailer and was fatally injured.

Procter, B.C. - 1/20/95 "CP Rail Train Hits Rock Slide and Derails". Locomotive Engineer Peter Whitehead, 39 years old at time of death, employed by CP Rail. Member of Division 563, Cranbrook, B.C. Brother Whitehead died as a result of his train hitting a rock slide and derailing into Kootenay Lake. Also killed in the wreck was Shawn Trevor Hogg, age 31, a fellow member of Division 563.


Marathon, TX - 7/25/94 "Head-on-Collision between two Southern Pacific Trains". Engineers, F.H. "Rick" Bonnell, 56 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Southern Pacific-Eastern Lines since April 1, 1963. Member of Division 566. Milby E.Winn, 59 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Southern Pacific-Eastern Lines since May 1, 1974. Member of Division 566.

Thedford, NE - 6/8/94 "Collision and Derailment involving three Burlington Northern Freight Trains". Engineer, Tim V. Anderson, 34 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Burlington Northern since July 1, 1980. Member of Division 622.

Selma, NC - 5/16/94 " Derailment of The Silver Meteor Amtrak Train 87 following Collision with Intermodal Trailer from CSXT Train 176". Assistant Engineer, Robert Brooks Woodward, Sr., 41 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Amtrak since May 1, 1986. Member of Division 14.

Flora, MS - 2/26/94 "Head-on-Collision of Illinois Central Railroad Trains BRME-25 and MenL-26". Engineer, J.L. Plunk, 55 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Illinois Central RR since October 1, 1992. Member of Division 23.


November 15, 1993 - Amtrak foreman, Glen Loveless, killed when struck by train.

Kelso, WA - 11/11/93 "Head-on-Collision and Derailment of Burlington Northern Freight with Union Pacific Freight Train". Engineer of train 09, Mark A. Poler, 41 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Union Pacific RR-Western Lines since December 1980. Promoted to engineer November 1, 1990. Member of Division 892. He was married. Engineer of train 111, Wayne R. Kronberger, 40 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Burlington Northern RR since March 1979. Promoted to engineer July 1980. Member of Division 518.

Saraland, AL - 9/22/93 "Derailment of Amtrak Train No. 2 on the CSXT Big Bayou Canot Bridge". Engineers, Billy R. Hall, 47 yrs. old at time of death, emloyed with Amtrak RR since June 1, 1980. Ernest L. Russ, 43 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Amtrak RR since January 1, 1974. Mike D. Vinet, 39 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Amtrak RR since July 1, 1979. All three engineers were members of Division 18 in New Orleans. Read the NTSB report. Read the FEMA report. Story revisited 25 years later.


October 12, 1992 - Los Angeles CA - Mini train engineer at Griffith park killed by robber.


Knox, IN - 9/17/91 "Norfolk Southern Head-On-Collision and Derailment". Engineer of train 277, Richard A. Marks, 40 yrs. old at time of death, employed with Norfolk Southern since August 1, 1972. He was a delegate in the 1991 Convention and Chairman of the Credentials Committee. At his time of departure, he was also Local C hairman of Division 537 in Fort Wayne, IN. He was married, and the father of two (2) children. His son, C.W. Marks is currently an engineer with Norfolk Southern Railroad and a member of Division 537.

August 5, 1991 - Kinsella Alberta - A three-man Canadian National freight crew were killed when their train collided with a tractor trailer loaded with crude oil. The tanker exploded on impact.


Rochester, NY - 05/19/89 "Shifted Load of Lumber Striking Locomotive Cab of Amtrak Train No. 49". Locomotive Engineer Peter L. Sylvester, 59 years old at the time of his death, was employed with Amtrak and a member of Division 752 in Albany, NY. Shortly after Westbound Amtrak Train 49 departed Rochester, NY with Engineer Sylvester at the throttle, an eastbound Conrail freight passed Train 49 in a series of curves. A shifted load of lumber struck the engineer's side of the cab killing Engineer Sylvester instantly. Division 752 donated the engineers to operate a Turbo Train at no cost to Amtrak so that Amtrak employees could attend the funeral service.

May 12, 1989 - San Bernadino, CA - On May 12, 1989, at 7:36 a.m. a 6-locomotive/69-car Southern Pacific freight train (SP 7551 East, computer symbol 1 MJLBP-11) lost control while descending Cajon Pass, derailed on an elevated curve. The conductor, head-end brakeman, and two residents were killed in the crash.

January 14, 1989 - Amtrak trackman, Kenneth D. Plouffe, killed when struck by train.

Other Years

Canada’s Ten Deadliest Train Crashes

July 30, 1988 - Altoona IA - Two Iowa Interstate Railroad employees were killed when their westbound train collided with an eastbound train.

August 1987 - Amtrak lineman, Leo Colton, electrocuted on the job.

January 4, 1987 – Chase Maryland – An Amtrak engineer and lounge car attendant along with fourteen passengers were killed when Amtrak train 94 crashed into a set of light Conrail engines. The Amtrak engineer was Jerome Evans, 35. NTSB RAR8801 can be found here.

Feb 8, 1986. - East of Hinton, Alberta. One of the most lethal rail disasters in Canadian history occurred when a CN freight train ran a stop signal and collided head on with a Via passenger train. The accident killed 23 passengers and crew, and another 95 people were injured. A Commission of Inquiry indicated several human errors at the root of the accident, and investigations revealed serious flaws in CN’s employee practices.

September 30, 1983 - Amtrak foreman, Henry Brooks, trackman, Albert S. Chinchar, and welder, Alfredo Giudice, were killed when struck by a crane.

September 22, 1983 - Amtrak lineman, Billy Strohmaier, electrocuted on the job.

July 25, 1983 - Amtrak trackman, Scott Fletcher, died when run over by a crane.

January 19, 1982 - Amtrak track inspector, Dennis Griffin, killed when struck by train.

May 8, 1981 - Amtrak watchman, R. Easter, killed when struck by train.

April 17, 1981 - Melrose Park IL - Two Chicago and North Western employees killed in shooting.

December 19, 1980 - Amtrak repairman, Kevin Murphy, killed when struck by train.

November 12, 1980 - Amtrak foreman, Henry Cooper, killed when struck by train.

May 27, 1980 - Webb Saskatchewan - 22 members of a CP rail gang killed in horrendous bus crash.

November 24, 1979 - Amtrak repairman, Brian Moroska, killed when struck by train.

September 12, 1978 - Amtrak foreman, Denis Callahan and crane operator, Peter Wells, killed when struck by train.

August 24, 1978 - Amtrak Lineman, T. Pershing, electrocuted on the job.

November 1, 1976 - Amtrak bridge operator, Arthur J. Moses, killed when struck by train.

September 1, 1974 - Mustang OK - Two St. Louis-San Francisco Railway trains collided head-on near Mustang, Oklahoma. A brakeman was killed.

July 19, 1974 - Decatur IL - Five tank cars loaded with isobutane gas were uncoupled at the west end of Decatur Yard by a switching crew and allowed to free roll eastward on yard track 11. The car impacted an empty boxcar, and its coupler overrode the tank car coupler and punctured the tank. Isobutane escaped and vaporized for 8 to 10 minutes before it exploded. The yard, surrounding residences, and commercial facilities were damaged extensively by fire and shock waves. Seven employees died from burns, and 33 employees were injured. Three hundred sixteen persons out side the rail yard were also injured as a result of the explosion. Property damage was estimated at $18 million. [COMPILATION of pictures and articles]

December 1, 1973 - Cotulla TX -  A Missouri Pacific Railroad Company freight train was traveling on a non-signalized main track and was diverted through a switch onto an adjacent track where an unmanned locomotive, a caboose, and 11 cars were standing. In the resulting collision, three crew members who were riding in the lead locomotive unit of train DMX were killed.

August 3, 1973 – Potter NE – Two Union Pacific maintenance employees were killed when they were struck by a UP freight train.  They were Kenneth Meerkatz, 28, of Polk and Junior Jay Pinto, 51, of Chinle AZ.  They were part of a 12-man crew cleaning an area where new rails had been installed.  Meerkatz was a 6 year UP employee and was survived by his wife and four children.

June 25, 1973 - Indio CA - There was a rear-end collision between two Southern Pacific Transportation Company freight trains in the SP yard at Indio, California. The engineer and head brakeman on the striking train were killed.

February 21, 1973 - Taft LA - Two Missouri Pacific trains collided head-on. Three crew members were killed.

May 24, 1972 - Maquon IL - Two Burlington Northern freight trains collided head-on near Maquon, Illinois. Four of the locomotive units of the trains were destroyed and the fifth was heavily damaged. The engineer and the head brakeman on each train were killed.

March 12, 1972 - Herndon PA - Two Penn Central trains collide head-on. The engineer and head-brakeman on both trains were killed.

June 15, 1971 - Yardley PA - Reading Company commuter train 571 struck a truck loaded with coils of steel at the Sony Hill Road crossing. The engineer, trainman and a passenger were killed when a 5 ton coil of steel entered the lead car.

May 11, 1971 - Great Falls MT - Four die in freight train collision.

March 28, 1971 - Sheridan WY - Burlington Northern freight train, Extra 5701 East, with 69 cars and three locomotive units Collided with a cut of cars on the main line. The fireman and engineer were killed.

January 24, 1970 - Loda IL - Illinois Central Railroad southbound passenger train No. 1, moving at a speed of 79 miles per hour on track No. 1, struck a motortruck loaded with gasoline on the South Second street crossing in Loda, Illinois. Three employees of the railroad, who were occupying the control compartment of the lead locomotive unit at the time of the accident, and the driver of the motortruck received fatal injuries from the burning gasoline.

August 20, 1969 - Darien CT - Penn Central commuter trains N-48 and N-49 collided head-on just north of the Hoyt Street crossing on the New Canaan Branch near Darien, Connecticut. The engineer of N-48 and the conductor and flagman on Train N-49 were killed.

May 22, 1967 - New York, NY - Six crewmen died when two New York Central trains collided head-on. NTSB Report

December 28, 1966 - Everett MA - Boston & Main passenger train No. 563 collided with a tank truck which was stopped across the Second Street railroad-highway grade crossing at Everett, Massachusetts. The collision resulted in the death of 11 of a total of 28 passengers and 2 of the 3 train crew members, and other injuries and damage to property.

August 2, 1956 - Mesquite TX - A 52-year-old cook identified as Mack Shaw of Melville, Louisiana, died when he fell from a Texas and Pacific work train.

November 21, 1950 - Valemount, British Columbia - A westbound troop train and a eastbound Canadian National Railway (CNR) Continental Limited collided head-on. The collision killed 21 people: 17 Canadian soldiers en route to the Korean War and the two-man locomotive crew of each train. The westbound troop train, Passenger Extra 3538 West—consisting of the S-2-a class 2-8-2 steam locomotive 3538 and 17 cars, about half of which had wood bodies with steel underframes—was travelling from Camp Shilo, Manitoba to Fort Lewis, Washington. It was carrying 23 officers and 315 men of 2nd Regiment, Royal Canadian Horse Artillery (RCHA) for deployment to the Korean War, a movement dubbed Operation Sawhorse. The train was moving through the Rocky Mountains on the CNR transcontinental mainline. CNR Train No. 2, the eastbound Continental Limited, consisted of the U-1-a class 4-8-2 steam locomotive 6004 and eleven all-steel cars and was en route from Vancouver to Montreal.

Sept 1, 1947. Dugald, Manitoba. A Canadian National Railway excursion train known as the Minaki Campers’ Special loaded with hundreds of cottagers returning to Winnipeg failed to move onto a siding and collided with the No. 4 Transcontinental train that was
standing on the main line. 31 people were killed and dozens of others were injured, most by fire breaking out in two gas-lit wooden cars on the excursion train. Only 7 bodies could be identified, 2 were likely incinerated in the blaze and another 24 were buried in a mass grave in Brookside Cemetery in Winnipeg. It remains Canada’s third worst train disaster. (Wikipedia)

September 20, 1917 - Philadelphia PA - A B&O brakeman was killed at the Race Street yard in Philadelphia. Walter Briggs died when he was accidentally crushed between two rail cars. He was survived by his wife and two young children.

Aug 9, 1941. Montreal, Quebec. CNR passenger train #242 from Vaudreuil collided with a stationary switch engine in the Turcot Yards. The locomotive and 2 cars of the passenger train derailed. The fireman was killed and the engineer was severely burned when the boiler ruptured. 53 passengers were injured. (Wikipedia)

September 15, 1896 - West TX - Several were killed at the infamous “Crush Spectacle” when a head-on collision between two Missouri-Kansas & Texas Railway trains was staged as a publicity stunt.

November 22, 1890 - Kankakee IL - A southbound Illinois Central “Fast Mail” train ran head-on in the New Orleans Express at the south end of Kankakee bridge. Fireman William Hosler of Chicago was instantly killed.

1850’s – Funks Grove, IL – About 50 Irish railroad workers were buried in two mass graves in a Funks Grove cemetery after a cholera outbreak.

Resources and References: Railroad Accidents, Injurires and Fatalities

From the Economic History Association:  History of Workplace Safety in the United States, 1880-1970

From the Monthly Labor Review: Railroad-related work injury fatalities

From the National Transportation Safety Board:  Railroad Accident Reports

From Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA):  Accident Search Results for "Railroad"

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:  Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA)

From the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA):  The Federal Railroad Safety Program - 100 Years of Safer Railroads

From the FRA:  Roadway Worker Protection

From BMWED & BRS:  Fatality Analysis of Maintenance-of-Way Employees & Signalmen (FAMES)

From Association of American Railroads (AAR):  Employee Rail Safety Initiatives

From FRA:   [Safety Advisory 2011-02]

From FRA:  Background on FRA Railroad Accident/Incident Investigations            

From Switching Operations Fatality Analysis (SOFA): Switching Fatality and Severe Injury Update – 2012 First Quarter

From Research and Innovative Technology Administration (RITA) :  Fatalities and Injuries of On-Duty Railroad   Employees

From SOFA:  Severe Injuries to Train and Engine Service Employees: Data Description and Injury Characteristics July 2001

USMF:  United Support & Memorial for Workplace Fatalities

Interesting compilation of train accident records (1875-1964) from “Martha’s Page” of the Noble County, IN Public Library.

Some information on older train accidents can be found at