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M. Parsons

Zack "Busdude" Willhoite

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Wow, this is just so sad. Two men from our Transit Enthusiast Community perished in the Amtrak 501 derailment yesterday. Hope turned into fear which became panic then dread as hours wore on and calls and texts remain unanswered.

That these men gave their lives doing something they loved is but a small consolation. My heart goes out to their friends and family, and to the entire transit fanning community as we all reel in grief trying to comprehend all of this.

We've all done it. Got up early with eager anticipation of riding a new vehicle or checking out a new route. Perhaps that is why their deaths are so profound, because we realize that this could have been any one of us.

Rest in peace, Zack and Jim.

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Very sorry to learn of this. Zack was quiet on the charters I've been to with him, but definitely passionate and knowledgeable. He was kind enough to show a couple of guys and I his bus in Tacoma back in June. We also met his wife in Seattle. A lot of the guys who met him for the BHA convention are very distraught by this news. I can't say that I knew Jim, but I am sure that he was a stand up fellow as well.

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I only knew Zack personally for a year, but he became a good friend as I got more & more involved with MEHVA and got to know him better, he was a good friend, passionate, and was a fun guy to be around with his great sense of humor at times. Just letting everyone know that on Saturday 11AM PST I will be doing a live commemoration/sending of thoughts on my YouTube Channel for those who are able to join, he was a class act of a person and I feel this is owed to him & his family.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3Oe3iiSKuRoMSjQJ79EFFA

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Very saddening story.

I cannot say that I knew Zack, neither through the board, nor personally. However, I've learned that he was an all round good person; someone of very personable character. I'd like to thank him for his contributions to the community, and making us all more knowledgeable as a whole. Its also a strong reminder, that this could have been any of us, as fans of this industry.

My thoughts are with him and his family. I also pray that his family and friends receive the best possible support during this difficult time. 

Rest in Peace. 

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Like @M. Parsons, Busdude's Page O' Buses was one of the inspirations for Tom's Bus Page, along with TMX, GTBP and The Bus Spot.  While I never met Zack in person, to the best of my knowledge, I did get to know him through the board and through Busdude.com, and I appreciated how much he was able to contribute to the transit enthusiast community.  My wife and I are offering our prayers for Zack and Jim, and for their families in this difficult time, especially as Christmas is just around the corner.

May they truly rest in peace.

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Thanks for the memories, as a Valley Metro user, I feel deeply sad.

I even made a YouTube video as a token of their success.

 

May their dreams be dreamed.

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As I wrote in the KCM thread, I am stunned that this happened, especially since we have heard of busdude and seen his posts of his own bus and his transit trips on his website. Any idea if anyone will be preserving his beloved Orion I?

I hope Pierce Transit or any transit heritage group will preserve and dedicate that Orion for Zack.

I send my condolences to Zack & Jim's family & friends.

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One guy who owns Pierce Transit 374 (painted in CTA livery) is hosting a special event in LA and there is even an event in Nor Cal the weekend before that. January 14 at 9 am at LA Union Station (Patsaouras Transit Plaza).

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On 12/24/2017 at 10:54 PM, XN40 said:

One guy who owns Pierce Transit 374 (painted in CTA livery) is hosting a special event in LA and there is even an event in Nor Cal the weekend before that. January 14 at 9 am at LA Union Station (Patsaouras Transit Plaza).

Yeah, the guy I believe is Kevin Cartwright, owner of 374.

 

 

Thank you Martin for this thread.  I hope it's okay to post some articles here.  If not or if you feel I'm posting anything inappropriate, let me know.   

We all know there were numbers of articles from last week about Zack and Jim.  One in particular that I liked was from Neal McNamara of the Lakewood Patch that had Kevin describing Zack as "an angel."   A photo a Zack sitting in the driver's seat of what appears to be Kevin's GM fishbowl 374 is included.   

Washington Amtrak Derailment Victim Remembered As 'An Angel'

 

For those who may be interested and not aware, there is a GoFundMe account started by Zacks brother-in-law, Bret (brother of Taylor, Zack's widow) that appeared to be legitimate to me so I anonymously donated last week but will donate more later as I'm now pretty much assured that this is a legitimate gofundme page:

For the Family of Zack Willhoite

I was so revolted and felt so badly for Taylor as she frantically searched all day for her husband Zack and his friend on that fateful Monday as described in this article:

Love of trains put these victims on Amtrak 501

I can't imagine the anguish she was experiencing that day and sheer horror she felt when she finally found out what happened to her husband and Jim.   May God comfort Taylor and all of the members of both families during these difficult days.

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2 hours ago, roamer said:

Yeah, the guy I believe is Kevin Cartwright, owner of 374.

 

 

Thank you Martin for this thread.  I hope it's okay to post some articles here.  If not or if you feel I'm posting anything inappropriate, let me know.   

We all know there were numbers of articles from last week about Zack and Jim.  One in particular that I liked was from Neal McNamara of the Lakewood Patch that had Kevin describing Zack as "an angel."   A photo a Zack sitting in the driver's seat of what appears to be Kevin's GM fishbowl 374 is included.   

Washington Amtrak Derailment Victim Remembered As 'An Angel'

 

For those who may be interested and not aware, there is a GoFundMe account started by Zacks brother-in-law, Bret (brother of Taylor, Zack's widow) that appeared to be legitimate to me so I anonymously donated last week but will donate more later as I'm now pretty much assured that this is a legitimate gofundme page:

For the Family of Zack Willhoite

I was so revolted and felt so badly for Taylor as she frantically searched all day for her husband Zack and his friend on that fateful Monday as described in this article:

Love of trains put these victims on Amtrak 501

I can't imagine the anguish she was experiencing that day and sheer horror she felt when she finally found out what happened to her husband and Jim.   May God comfort Taylor and all of the members of both families during these difficult days.

Correct on Kevin Cartwright. Forgot to mention that. He wants people to find photos of Zack. 

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An official memorial is on February 4 at the Pullayup Fair with buses there to honor his legacy. No need to wear formal funeral wear as his wife insists you wear clothes as he would remember you by. This is in addition to the January 14 memorial at LA Union Station. No word on what time it will start and what not but if you can make it then this is another option if you cannot make it to LA Union station. 

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