Railroad News

Teen Killed by UP Freight was a Star Athlete, Scholar, and Peer Leader

(Welch, Oklahoma – April 8, 2013)

A 16-year-old Welch, OK high school student who was killed Sunday afternoon as he jogged beside Union Pacific Railroad tracks at about 5:14 P.M. was not only a stellar, three-sport athlete at the tiny (barely 100 students) Delbert Lovelace High School, but was also a stellar student and leader among his peers and younger children.

Logan Hankins had just left a weight lifting workout at the high school gym when he began jogging beside the UPRR tracks that cut through the heart of the small Craig County, OK community. It was reported he may have been wearing headphones as he jogged south, only to be overtaken and hit by a southbound one of the 17 daily freight trains which pass through Welch at a top speed of 60 mph.

Hankins, a sophomore at DLHS, was a standout athlete in football, basketball and baseball, and had hoped to play football at the college level after graduation. He had just received notice of his acceptance at the prestigious Afton Vocational School of Math and Science to do college-level courses while still in high school.

After hearing of his tragic death, dozens of students gathered at Hankins’s church, Gateway Church in Welch.

Katie Nair, youth pastor at Gateway, said Logan always carried a smile and would often go out of his way to talk to younger students. “You don’t find teenagers very often that care that much to pour into little kids, 5 and 4-year-olds,” recalled Pastor Nair.

“He was the kind of kid who was everyone’s friend,” lauded Pastor Tyson Wynn of Living Hope Baptist Church, one of many local pastors and counselors who came to the high school Monday to help students get through the solemn and tragic day and week ahead, which would include cancellation of baseball games and track meets and culminate with the young victim’s funeral, scheduled for the Welch Community Center at 10:00 A.M. Thursday morning.

DLHS Principal Bruce Chrz called Logan both a model student as well as “a happy young man, very, very intelligent, hard worker.”

“It’s very hard on your staff, it’s very hard on your students,” lamented the high school chief adding that it will take time to get over this tragedy.