2 victims identified in deadly Amtrak train derailment - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

2 victims identified in deadly Amtrak train derailment

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Zack Willhoite (left) and Jim Hamre (right) were identified as two of the three people killed in a deadly Amtrak derailment on Monday Zack Willhoite (left) and Jim Hamre (right) were identified as two of the three people killed in a deadly Amtrak derailment on Monday
DUPONT, Wash. -

A relative says a rail advocate is one of the three people killed in the deadly Amtrak derailment in Washington state.
  
Rachel Topper said Tuesday that she has been notified of the death of her uncle Jim Hamre in Monday's crash. Topper said the family has no further comment.
  
In a Facebook post, she said they were heartbroken and that Hamre will be missed by many.
  
Lloyd Flem, executive director of rail advocacy organization All Aboard Washington, says Hamre retired a few years ago as a civil engineer at the Washington Transportation Department. He says Hamre lived with his mother in Puyallup.
  
Another rail advocate, Zack Willhoite, also died when the train plunged off an overpass and onto Interstate 5 south of Seattle on Monday. The train was making its first run on faster route.
  
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11:25 a.m.
  
Authorities say they're starting to move train cars that derailed outside Seattle and hurtled onto a highway below, killing three people.
  
Capt. Dan Hall with the Washington State Patrol says the cars will be loaded onto trucks starting Tuesday and taken to a secure facility as the National Transportation Safety Board investigates.
  
State Transportation Department spokesman Travis Phelps says Interstate 5 will be closed through Tuesday night and could be shut down for several days as officials finish the investigation at the scene.
  
He says the next step is assessing the overpass and the road below.
  
The Amtrak train derailed during its inaugural run along a new faster route. U.S. investigators say they haven't determined a cause of the crash but revealed that the train was traveling 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.
  
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10:35 a.m.
  
A U.S. official says investigators are examining whether an Amtrak engineer was distracted when a speeding train derailed, killing three people and sending several rail cars flying off an overpass.
  
The official said Tuesday that in addition to the engineer, there was another employee training in the train's cab Monday.
  
The official says investigators are looking into whether the engineer lost "situational awareness."
  
The official wasn't authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity.
  
Audio dispatch in which a crew member discusses injuries to the engineer mentions a second person in the front of the train, who was also hurt.
  
___
  
9:14 a.m.
  
A victim in the deadly Amtrak derailment in Washington state has been identified as an employee of a local transit agency and a rail advocate.
  
Pierce Transit released a statement saying that Zack Willhoite, a customer service support specialist, was killed in Monday's derailment.
  
Authorities say three people died and dozens were injured when the train plunged off an overpass over Interstate 5 south of Seattle. The train was making its inaugural run.
  
Pierce Transit says Willhoite was "admired by his colleagues."
  
Lloyd Flem, executive director of All Aboard Washington, says Willhoite was a rail advocate and it was a given that he would be on the trip.
  
Federal investigators say they haven't determined a cause of the derailment but revealed that the train was travelling 80 mph in a 30 mph zone.
  
___
  
8:35 a.m.
  
Crews have removed train cars involved in a deadly Amtrak derailment from a railway overpass in Washington state.
  
Authorities say there are three confirmed deaths. Dozens were injured.
  
The train cars were loaded Tuesday onto flatbed trucks and drive away on Interstate 5.
  
Authorities say a total of 13 train cars jumped the tracks early Monday south of Seattle.
  
The Amtrak train careened off the overpass above Interstate 5 during its inaugural run along a new bypass route. The train carried 85 passengers and crew members.
  
Federal investigators say they haven't determined a cause of the derailment but revealed late Monday that the train was travelling 80 mph in a 30 mph zone. Investigators are on the scene.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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