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 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. 

 

Note: At the bottom of the page you will find links to various railroad injury & fatality references. If you know of anyone we have missed on the list, please email the webmaster with the info.


2014

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.

2013

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 as
she 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."

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.

August 26, 2013 - Harpursville, NY - {C}{C}{C}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.

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.


2012

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.

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, and

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 yesteday. Neil Thomas Touvell, 57, of Byers, Texas, was killed while on the job at BNSF.


2011

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.

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 no  safety crossing arms. Investigators said a parked train may have  obstructed 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 in  critical 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 22  years. 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.

2010

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 copolymer 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.

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.

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.

2009

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
operator,
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

2008

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 morning  when he was struck by a BART train between the Pleasant Hill and Concord  stations was identified today as James Strickland, 44, of Concord. Strickland, who had worked for BART since 2001, was struck from  behind by an eastbound Pittsburg-Bay Point train as he was walking along the  track, according to BART spokesman Linton Johnson. Johnson said a maintenance crew had closed one direction of the  tracks, 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 cut  lever that opened the knuckle in the middle of a railroad car. Employee fell underneath the railroad car's wheel and sustained unspecified, serious  injuries. 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.

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 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}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.

 

2007

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 - Daniel Riels, 46, a member of UTU Local 339 in Jackson, Tenn., was killed in an Illinois Central yardswitching accident in Fulton, Ky., July 27. 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. Parker  of 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.

2006

 

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.

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 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.

{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}{C}

FRA - 2006 RAILROAD EMPLOYEE FATALITIES: CASE STUDIES AND ANALYSIS

2005

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.

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.

Graniteville, S.C. -- January 6, 2005 -- BLET member killed in Norfolk Southern derailment  Brother 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.

 

2004

 

Niland, Calif. -- December 10, 2004 -- BLET member killed in collision of two Union Pacific trains  Brother 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.

San Antonio, 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.

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.

2003

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December 7, 2003 – San Antonio, TX - Union Pacific Railroad - 37 years-old Switch Foreman (Remote Control Locomotive) with 5 years 9 months service was fatally injured when struck by rail equipment during a switching move.

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 with 6 years of service sustained fatal injuries after jumping from the leading locomotive of his train while traveling at 39 miles per hour.

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.

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 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

2002

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.

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.

2001

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.

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.

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.

2000

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.

1999

 

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.

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.

Toledo, 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.

1998

 

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 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.

 

1997

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.

Fort Worth, Texas - August 21, 1997 "Runaway Locomotive Consist collides head-on with Freight Train". Engineer Roy W. Adams, 54 years old at time of death, member BLE Division 568, Dennison, Texas for 22 years. Had been employed by Union Pacific for 25 years.

Rossville, KS-July 2, 1997 "Side Collision of Two Union Pacific Freight Trains and Chemical Spill". Engineer Michael E. Brown, 46 years old at the time of death, 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.

Scary, WV- June 7, 1997 "Rear-end collision and chemical spill between two CSX trains". Engineer Kelvin N. Winters, 30 years old at time of death, member of BLE Division 190, Huntington, WV. BLE Member 2 years.

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.

 

1996

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

1995

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.

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.

1994

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.

1993

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.

1991

 

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.

1989

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.


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