(Stilwell, Kansas – October 15, 2020)
Many questions still remain unanswered surrounding the tragic deaths of three of four young men, all parents of children residing in the Blue Valley School District in southern Overland Park, KS, that occurred after a collision with a Union Pacific freight train last weekend at an unguarded private crossing. Leading the investigation was the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office. The deceased victims were identified as Kevin Corbin, 40, of Stilwell, Brent Moroney, 37, of Overland Park, and Troy Hamlin, 40, of Overland Park. Still being treated in critical condition at a local hospital was Johnson County resident Chance Adams, the fourth member of the group.
The crash occurred at about 6:37 PM, CDT, and it was unknown if the angle of the sun or at what point the train’s horn was activated, if at all, were factors in the tragedy. A daily average of 26 UPRR freight trains roll across the crossing at a maximum allowable speed of 60 mph.
A statement issued by the families to news media called the tragedy, which left seven children fatherless and left two more hoping for their father’s recovery, called the collision “an unfathomable tragedy.”
The statement revealed that the four men “were interested in purchasing some nearby land and were trying to gain a vantage point to look for it. WDAF-TV, FOX Channel 4 in Kansas City, said that the families believed that “they got lost, crossed over the tracks on the private property, and didn’t hear or see the train.”
The statement went on to call the tragic event “our worst nightmare,” resulting from “a well-intentioned excursion”. “Our 9 young children have lost their beloved fathers and uncle and 2 are watching their father fight for his life.”
Owner of the property where the rural crossing, which had no signalization, like flashing lights and crossing gates, Bob Kenney, 69, of Leawood, KS, could not understand how the four men crossed into his property as a gate across the road was “always locked”.
On Monday, the subject of the tragic crash was a topic on KMBZ News-talk radio 98.1 FM, on the highly popular Dana & Parks weekday 2-6 PM call-in show. And on Tuesday, KCTV Channel 5 News Reporters Leslie Aguilar and Maggie Holmes developed an extensive segment on the evening news as various still-unsolved questions were presented to the Kansas City area viewing audience.