TACOMA, WASHINGTON (December 19, 2017) – One of the three confirmed victims of Monday morning’s terrible Amtrak derailment has been identified as Zack Willhoite, a longtime employee of Pierce Transit, according to a local news source. (map)
Zack Willhoite was riding the train along with his long time friend, Jim Hamre. Both were rail aficionados and enthusiasts, and Willhoite had worked for Pierce Transit since 2008. Willhoite was a fan of transportation in general, and belonged to several groups devoted to transit, transit history, and transit safety.
Zack Willhoite was tragically confirmed as one of the three victims of Monday morning’s Amtrak derailment, when passenger train 501 derailed off an overpass onto the 5 Freeway near DuPont. The accident is still being investigated, but initial reports have indicated that the train was traveling at over twice the recommended speed for the section of track.
The train derailment was responsible for 3 confirmed deaths, and dozens of injuries, including some to motorists below the train who were struck by falling train cars. Zack Willhoite and Jim Hamre are the first two identified victims, but authorities are working to identify everyone killed or injured in the accident.
“Sadly, there are no words that can comfort all family members and friends as they cope with such tragic loss,” said the attorneys from Lexton Law. “Our thoughts and prayers are with all parties affected in this tragedy as they try to piece together what happened.”