Texas town grieves loss of three after train wreck in Oklahoma Panhandle

Dalhart, Texas, was hit hard by head-on collision Sunday in the Oklahoma Panhandle. One victim lost his father 20 years ago in a train accident.
by Juliana Keeping Modified: June 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm •  Published: June 27, 2012

— Two decades after a train accident took the life of her husband, Lyndell Hall will bury her son, who suffered the same fate.

Dan Hall, 56, of Dalhart, Texas, was one of three victims in Sunday's head-on train wreck in the Oklahoma Panhandle.

“We take it a day at a time with the Lord's help and the Lord's direction,” his mother said Wednesday in a telephone interview from her Dalhart home. “And that's just about all I can tell you, because that's just the way it is.”

Dan Hall, a train engineer, lost his father, who also was an engineer, in a train accident two decades ago. Jim Hall was 58.

Horizon Funeral Home in Dalhart is burying the three crash victims. Owner Phillip Haas recalled Wednesday the circumstances surrounding the elder Hall's death.

“I remember going to the scene and picking him up,” Haas said. “The trains were passing each other, and he slipped off the catwalk rail and fell in front of the train.”

Now Haas will bury Jim Hall's son.

The collision Sunday morning has left the small town of Dalhart reeling. The victims hailed from the town of 7,930, which is about 60 miles southwest of the wreck site near Goodwell.

It's not yet clear what happened in the moments before two Union Pacific trains slammed into each other.

The National Transportation Safety Board determined one of the trains failed to take a side track and give the other the right of way, NTSB member Mark Rosekind said Monday. Experts speculated human error was to blame but said it is unclear if any error could be pinpointed onboard the trains, in a communications center of a train yard or elsewhere.

Event recorders have been shipped to Washington, D.C., for evaluation.

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by Juliana Keeping
Enterprise Reporter
Juliana Keeping is on the enterprise reporting team for The Oklahoman and NewsOK.com. Keeping joined the staff of The Oklahoman in 2012. Prior to that time, she worked in the Chicago media at the SouthtownStar, winning a Peter Lisagor Award...
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