In the Line of Duty: Heath Pape
Brother Heath Pape, a member of BLET Division 197 in San Antonio, Texas, was killed in a collision between a Union Pacific train and a BNSF train on June 28. Brother Pape had just joined the BLET. He was 23 years old.
Brother Pape's father, E.G. Pape, has been a member of BLET Division 197 since 1982.
BLET National President Don M. Hahs expressed his deepest sympathy to the Pape family on the behalf of all the members of the BLET. As is customary, the BLET flag will fly at half mast over the BLET's headquarters at the Standard Building in Cleveland to honor Brother Pape.
The collision unleashed a cloud of chlorine gas and ammonium nitrate. The wreck derailed 40 cars in a rural area southwest of San Antonio. Fire officials say as many as 50 people suffered minor respiratory irritation.
Funeral services were held on July 2 at the United Methodist Church in LaVernia, Texas.
He is the sixth member of the BLET to lose his life in an on-the-job accident in 2004. On May 19, BLET Division 172 (Fort Worth, Texas) member E.M. "Mike" Rogers, 49, was killed in a head-on train collision near Gunter, Texas. On May 18, BLET Division 106 (Muncie, Ind.) member Jeff C. York, 35, was killed in a Norfolk Southern switching accident in Elwood, Ind. On February 21, Anthony C. Rodella, 57, and Jeffrey S. Bohler, 32, were killed in a collision of two Union Pacific trains in Carrizozo, N.M. Both Brothers belonged to Division 192 in El Paso, Texas. BLET Division 230 (Meridian, Miss.) member Dennis Vinson was killed in a collision between his Norfolk Southern train and a gasoline tanker truck on June 25. He was 58 years old.
© 2004 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen