INDEPENDENCE, Ohio, March 7 — Louis P. Shuster, a proud member of the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers and Trainmen (BLET), employed as a Norfolk Southern conductor, was struck and killed early Tuesday when a dump truck collided with a train car in Cleveland.
“Lou was a passionate and dedicated union brother,” said Pat Redmond, Local Chairman of BLET Division 607. “He was always there for his coworkers. He was very active in helping veterans who worked on the railroad and veterans all across our community.”
Brother Shuster, 46, of Broadview Heights, Ohio, served the union as the president of BLET Division 607 in Cleveland. He began working as a conductor in 2005 and earned promotion to locomotive engineer in 2014. He was a father of a 16-year-old son and also a caregiver for his elderly parents. Brother Shuster was an Army veteran.
BLET has assigned A. Dan Cook III, the union’s Director of Benefits to assist the family. BLET National Vice President and Safety Task Force (STF) Chairman Randy Fannon, joined by other STF representatives, has been tasked with investigating the collision that occurred at a rail crossing on the site of a steel mill operated by Cleveland-Cliffs.
Earlier today, the National Transportation Safety Board announced that it is sending a team to the scene of the latest incident involving Norfolk Southern. BLET will be included in the investigation team. This is the third NTSB investigation launched since the Feb. 3 derailment in East Palestine involving Norfolk Southern’s railroad operations.
This was a tragic situation and it’s a devastating loss for the Shuster family as well as the members of this union, said BLET National President Eddie Hall. “All railroad accidents are avoidable. This collision underscores the need for significant improvements in rail safety for both workers and the public.”