Long Island Rail Road car inspector Russell DeCeck, 48, a member of Local 722, Babylon, N.Y., was killed Sunday, 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.
“On behalf of our entire membership in the UTU family our thoughts and prayers are with Russell’s family and close friends,” LIRR General Chairperson Anthony Simon said. “We are all heartbroken over this tragic loss. This accident is a reminder of just how dangerous railroading can be, and shows the importance of continuing the fight in keeping our members safe.”
DeCeck is the sixth UTU member killed in an on-duty accident in 2011, and the third in a yard accident.
MINERAL SPRINGS, N.C. — CSX conductor Phillip E. Crawford Jr., 33, and locomotive engineer James Gregory Hadden, 36, were killed early May 24 in a rear-end collision here involving two CSX freight trains, according to news reports. Mineral Springs is some 30 miles south of Charlotte.
Crawford was a member of UTU Local 970, Abbeville, S.C. He signed on with CSX in October 2005.
Two crew members on the lead train, which was hit from the rear, suffered minor injuries, reported the Charlotte Observer.
The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Railroad Administration are investigating the North Carolina train collision, and a member of the UTU Transportation Safety Team is assisting the NTSB.
A CSX spokesperson told the Associated Press 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. Each train was pulled by two locomotives; one pulling nine freight cars, and the other 12, said CSX.
In Ft. Worth, a BNSF switch foreman and UTU Local 564 member, Paul Young, 28, with almost seven years’ service, lost both legs and an arm after being hit by a train in BNSF’s Alliance Terminal of May 23. Young, a resident of Haslet, Texas, reportedly was performing a gravity switch at an ethanol plant at the time of the accident.