Transportation

Memorials to SMART-TD members who died on the job in 2021

Taj Ellis

Ellis

Brother Taj Ellis, 46, of Chino, Calif., was making a set-out in La Mirada Yard in Orange County, Calif., at 12:30 a.m. March 3, 2021, when he was fatally injured.

He had been a member of our union since July 2013 and was a conductor for BNSF.

He is survived by his wife, Trinity, and children.

 
 
 


Curtis A. Deines

Deines

SMART Transportation Division Local 934 member Curtis A. Deines, 52, a member of our union for more than 20 years, died before dawn on the morning of March 19, 2021, after the SUV he was being transported in was involved in a head-on collision with another vehicle on U.S. Highway 2 near Ravenna, Neb.

“Curt was loved by all and will be greatly missed for his big heart and infectious laugh,” his family wrote of the BNSF conductor and member of our union since September 2000. “The role Curt played in each of our lives will never be forgotten.”

Brother Deines is survived by his wife, Sonya; his son, Colin Deines, and Colin’s girlfriend, Catie Williams; daughter, KayLeah King, and her husband, Robert; two grandchildren; his parents; his sister, Staci John, and her husband; two nieces; and a number of in-laws and other relatives.