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NTSB: Southbound train told to slow before crash

By Staff and wire report

This article was published August 19, 2014 at 2:13 p.m.

HOXIE — The National Transportation Safety Board says a southbound Union Pacific train was given signals to slow down and wait for an oncoming train to move onto another track moments before the two trains collided in northeast Arkansas.

At a briefing Monday night, NTSB investigator Michael Hiller said the southbound train was signaled to wait for the northbound train to move onto an unoccupied track. Hiller says the southbound train did not stop and the two trains collided.

Hiller's comments were reported by Jonesboro television station KAIT.

Engineer Chance Gober of White Hall and conductor Roderick Hayes of McKinney, Texas, who were on the southbound train, died. Engineer Michael Zompakos of Maumelle and conductor Aaron Jeffery of Conway, who were on the northbound train, were injured.

The cause of the collision is still under investigation and recorders from both trains are being analyzed.

Information for this article was contributed by the Associated Press and Arkansas Online.

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