Brother Pendarvis, a member of BLET Division 523 in Chickasha, Okla., was killed in the line of duty on August 29, 2008, when his Union Pacific locomotive collided with a propane tanker truck near Medford, Okla.
The collision triggered a massive explosion and also caused the death of conductor Larry B. Williams, a member of the United Transportation Union, and truck driver Dennis Wayne Etherton.
Brother Pendarvis, 52, joined the BLET on April 1, 2004. He is survived by his son, Travis and his mother Julie Lonewolf; two step-children Shamieka and Donte; one step-grandson Kobe; his childhood sweetheart Kym; his parents Jean and James Guesby; father William Marvin Craine Sr. and a host of aunts, nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and co-workers.
The accident occurred at 9:20 a.m. on August 29, about three miles south of Medford, Okla., in Grant County. The truck driver had just filled his tanker with propane at the Conoco-Phillips LP underground storage facility south of Medford before the accident. The truck was on the train tracks when the 76-car train struck it.
The locomotive event recorder indicated Brother Pendarvis sounded the horn and was trying to stop the train just prior to impact. Mike Honigsberg, emergency management director for neighboring Garfield County, said Brother Pendarvis and Conductor Williams were heroes for their last-second attempts to halt the train.
“In my opinion, that was a heroic effort because if they didn’t, there was nothing to stop that train between here and Enid,” he said. “They probably prevented another major catastrophe.” Enid is about 35 miles south of Medford.