Engineer killed in train crash was Glenwood graduate

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By Joel Stevens, Associate Editor

    The names of the two crew members who were killed in an April 17 train crash east of Emerson have been released by the Federal Railroad Administration.
    The two crew members have been identified as Patricia Hyatt, 48, and Tom Anderson, 48, both of Creston. Hyatt and Anderson were both on the eastbound coal train that rear-ended a Burlington Northern Sante Fe maintenance train at approximately 7 a.m. Sunday, April 17.
    Hyatt served as a conductor while Anderson was the train’s engineer.
    Memorial services for Patricia Hyatt were held last Wednesday in Creston.
    Anderson, a 1980 Glenwood Community High School graduate, was a third-generation locomotive engineer. A Celebration of Life service was held Friday for Anderson at Peterson Mortuary in Glenwood.
    The conductor and engineer on the maintenance train were not injured.  
    Hyatt and Anderson’s 130-car coal train was en route from Wyoming to an interchange in Chicago, before heading on to a utility company on the east coast. The maintenance train was traveling from an undisclosed location in Nebraska to Creston. Officials said 10 of its 34 cars derailed, scattering the heavy-duty equipment along the tracks.
    Firefighters and emergency responders from Emerson, Red Oak, Essex, Stanton and Elliot assisted at the scene of the collision.
    Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board are currently gathering and working through evidence gathered at the site to learn the cause of the crash.
    A spokersperson for BNSF said one of two lines of track shut down by the collision reopened last Monday morning, but that a second adjacent line would remain closed until the NTSB completed its investigation.
    According to the NTSB, 40 freight trains use the rails daily, as well as an Amtrak passenger train.