Update: Victims of Hoxie Train Accident Identified, Cause Not Yet Known

Published 08/18 2014 02:00PM

Updated 08/18 2014 07:02PM

HOXIE, AR - Union Pacific has released the names of the men killed or injured in Sunday's collision of two trains.

The company sends its condolences to the families of Engineer Chance Gober and Conductor Roderick Hayes, who died in the accident. Gober is from White Hall and Hayes is from McKinney, Texas.

The two injured men are identified as:
  • Engineer Michael Zampakos, of Maumelle 
  • Conductor Aaron Jeffery, of Conway
There was no further word on their conditions.

The collision happened around 2:30 a.m. Sunday along Highway 67 towards Minturn, prompting the evacuation of some residents of the area to Walnut Ridge.

At the scene on Monday, we learned that there is a passing system used on the tracks to avoid collisions. It's not yet known if a mechanical or operator error led up to the crash.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) did remove the recorders from the trains which will be sent to Washington, DC for analysis.

People living in Hoxie call the town the train capital of the world and they fear an accident like this could happen again.

"It's too busy here. There are trains going this way and trains coming that way. You never know what's going to come down the other tracks just like that. That's a freak accident, but still they need to do something different," says Amanda Fisk, a Hoxie resident.

According to the Union Pacific website, they have 1,309 miles of track in Arkansas and 2,800 employees.

The NTSB continues to investigate the accident.

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