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He will be missed.' A friend paid tribute to both men on Hamre's Facebook page, saying: 'As we all knew they would be, Jim and his great friend Zach Wilhoite were on Amtrak Train 501 on the first run over the new route and they were, unbelievably, two of the three killed in the horrible derailment of that train.' Authorities are investigating the wreck and have said that the train was going 80 mph in a 30 mph zone, derailing south of Seattle and toppling some cars on Interstate 5 below.
Officials have revealed that a second person was in the cab during the deadly Amtrak crash- as investigators look into whether they may have distracted the driver.
A positive train control system could have detected the speeding and automatically applied the brakes to stop the train, said Najmedin Meshkati, a University of Southern California professor who has studied the technology for three decades.'It is another layer of safety,' he said.
Dinh-Zarr said it is too soon to say whether positive train control would have prevented Monday's tragedy.
She described the 40-year-old as her 'autistic, but awesomely autistic son' who was passionate about trains. Daniels said his death 'left his friends and family shattered beyond belief.' Train enthusiasts Jim Hamre, 61, and Zack Willhoite, 35, died of severe brain and skull injuries from blunt impact on the train. Both men belonged to the rail advocacy group All Aboard Washington and were excited to be on board for the inaugural run: Hamre, a retired civil engineer with the state Transportation Department, and Willhoite, a customer service employee at a local transit agency.'It's pretty devastating.National Transportation Safety Board member Bella Dinh-Zarr said it is not yet known what caused the train to derail and too early to say why it was going so fast.