• Worker killed in Sanford train derailment identified


    SANFORD, Fla. - A train employee was killed after a train derailment near Sanford, the Florida Department of Transportation said Thursday.

    Department of Transportation spokesman Steve Olson said the employee was working as a spotter on one of the cars as a locomotive pushed 10 cars backward into a rail yard.

    Four of the cars carrying more than 100,000 pounds of gravel tipped and the worker became partially trapped underneath one of the cars and the crushed rock.

    The conductor was crushed as he fell under the falling car and pronounced dead at the scene. He has been identified as 36-year-old Christopher Putfark of Deltona.

    The gravel was going to be scattered along 32 miles of track for the new Sunrail until tragically, Christopher Putfark became trapped.

    Putfark was an employee of Conrad Yelvington Distibutors, Inc., a private contractor.

    Troopers said they will continue to investigate the incident.

    The gravel was to be used for construction of a SunRail commuter rail station.

    Olson said the cause of the accident is under investigation.

    "There was a lot of gravel that had spilled, and you have very heavy rail cars that are involved too, and the body was found under the gravel and under a rail car as well," said Olson.

    Troopers said they will continue to investigate the incident, and are looking at the speed and movement of the train to make sure the conductor was doing what he was supposed to.

    "We are going to talk to everybody who has any interest out here so we can get a full picture of what happened," Sgt. Kim Montes of the Florida Highway Patrol said.

    Brian Granito was Putfark's neighbor and said he still cannot believe his friend is gone.

    "He was a great guy, really was," Granito said.

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    Worker killed in Sanford train derailment identified