Two of the victims of the Amtrak derailment close to Tacoma, Wash., on Monday, Zack Willhoite and James Hamre, had been close pals and rail enthusiasts who were traveling with each other on the train’s inaugural journey.
“It was just a provided that they would be there,” stated Lloyd Flem, a colleague and buddy. “They had wanted to be on that really, really very first run.”
Mr. Flem, the executive director of All Aboard Washington, a rail advocacy group, stated in an interview on Tuesday that he had observed each males just a handful of days ahead of. They had been their usual content selves, he stated, eager to board Amtrak’s train No. 501 early Monday morning.
Both Mr. Willhoite and Mr. Hamre were passionate about rail transportation and the possibilities it provided for the Pacific Northwest.
For Mr. Hamre, 61, trains had been a century-lengthy family legacy, mentioned his brother, Michael Hamre, who spoke from his house in Tacoma.
Their grandfather worked for the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad, which no longer operates. Their parents met in the early 1950s as workers for a railroad in Montana.
“We have often had trains in our blood,” Mr. Hamre said, recalling a childhood where model train layouts were constantly under building in their house.
James Hamre never ever married or had young children, his brother stated, and helped care for their mother, Carolyn, who is 89.
He worked as a civil engineer for the Washington State Division of Transportation prior to retiring numerous years ago, and spent much of his time considering that then indulging his passion for travel and for trains.
“He’s been all more than Europe and Africa, Australia,” Mr. Hamre mentioned. “He chases trains. He’s got a radio that connects to theirs. He’ll take trains to Montana. He’s got quite a collection of photographs of them.”
James Hamre formed a rapidly friendship with Mr. Willhoite, 35 both of them have been volunteers for All Aboard Washington. Mr. Willhoite worked as an information technologies specialist for Pierce Transit in Lakewood, Wash. His employer confirmed his death.
Mr. Willhoite had worked for the agency given that 2008 and was “deeply appreciated and admired by his colleagues,” the statement stated.
He was married, an avid comic book reader and a “Star Wars” fan, according to Mr. Flem of All Aboard Washington.
“He got a kick out of old buses,” Mr. Flem mentioned. “He owned an old transit bus. His nickname was Bus Dude.”
Mr. Flem mentioned he was also stunned to fully absorb the deaths of his close friends. “They’re two of the hardest of the difficult core, dependable folks,” he said.
Published at Tue, 19 Dec 2017 19:08:36 +0000