Union Pacific Railroad Conductor Relives Train Accident

Reported by: Deanne Coffin
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Updated: 4/02 9:25 pm
 "I didn't want to go back and look at the accident, because I didn't want to see what happened. I didn't want to see the after affects,” says Glenn Thompson, retired Union Pacific Railroad conductor.

Glenn Thompson is a retired conductor that worked for Union Pacific for 39 years. During his time with the railroad, his locomotive hit a Simplot truck carrying diesel, while the train was traveling at a speed of 69 miles per hour and the man in the truck was killed.

"That's one of the real fears of people in the cab about, because once we hit a gas truck, the explosion on both sides, it will just take the oxygen away and kills everybody in the cab,” added Thompson.

It all happened so fast that Glenn barely remembers his thoughts those last few moments before striking the vehicle.

"Just trying to get this thing stopped, but it won't stop,” said Thompson.

Union Pacific says it takes just over a mile to stop a train.

"It's nearly impossible to get that train stopped often before a tragic incident takes place,” says Aaron Hunt, Director Corporate Relations Union Pacific.

Union Pacific also says that when a conductor or engineer is involved in a fatal accident they face a range of emotions and this is why they has a peer support group to help them through a traumatic time.

" The impact is more a physiological and emotional impact,” added Hunt.

"I guess I was just sad about the whole situation and know that you couldn't do anything to stop the whole situation,” concluded Thompson.

If you would like more information about train safety you can visit ‘Operation Lifesavers’ website.

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