GOODWELL — 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.
The funeral home issued obituaries for Dan Hall; Brian L. Stone, 49, a conductor from Dalhart; and John Hall (no relation to Dan Hall), 49, an engineer from nearby Channing, Texas.
The conductor of one of the trains jumped just before the crash, escaping serious injury, Union Pacific Railroad spokeswoman Raquel Espinoza said. The United Transportation Union identified the conductor who jumped to safety as Juan Zurita. Each train reportedly carried two crew members.
About the victims
Dan Hall lettered in football and basketball for Dalhart High School, graduating in 1975. He graduated from college in Knoxville, Tenn., joined the U.S. Marine Corps and worked as a carpenter before going to work for Union Pacific Railroad in 1994.
Lyndell Hall said her son had a variety of interests.
He followed his father into the railroad business three years after the accident that took his dad's life.
Stone, a 1982 Dalhart High School graduate, worked for Union Pacific for a decade and loved to hunt, fish, coach Little League and spend time with family. He leaves behind his wife, Cindy, and five children, his obituary states.
John Hall ran a welding business outside of his work as an engineer, and he loved to hunt and fish, his obituary states. He is survived by his wife, Beverly, and two children. He became an engineer in 1988 and had worked as a conductor. He spent seven years in Dalhart before moving his family to Channing, his obituary states.
Lyndell Hall said there has been an outpouring of support in Dalhart.
“It's like one big family,” she said.