Man killed in Amtrak train crash remembered as kind, hard working

Published: Feb. 1, 2018 at 10:17 PM EST|Updated: Feb. 2, 2018 at 1:39 PM EST
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LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - Family and friends are mourning the loss of a 28-year-old Louisa man killed Wednesday when an Amtrak train struck a garbage truck.

Christopher Foley leaves behind a one-year-old son, according to his employer Times Disposal. His coworkers say they're doing whatever they can to help his family.

People living in the Crozet neighborhood believe the trash truck had just done the rounds nearby when the unthinkable happened.

"We was inside when we heard the noise," says Billy Riddle. "It was a loud bang."

Foley was riding in that truck with two other Times Disposal workers when the Amtrak train hit it. Loved ones say Foley was a man who worked hard to provide for his family, including a one-year-old son and a fiancee.

"I don't care what we doing, how old, how young you are - when God calls you home, you go on it," says Riddle. "We don't know why things happen in life, but He does."

An emotional Facebook post by Foley's employer says coworkers are shocked and heartbroken. A woman in the office told NBC12 through tears that it's just too hard right now to say anything.

Thursday, on the the floor of the Virginia House of Delegates, lawmakers adjourned in honor of Foley. He actually picked up the trash for Delegate Rob Bell.

"He was the man who worked the back of the garbage truck in my neighborhood, and that's how he was when he died," says Delegate Bell. "He was on the back of the truck when the train hit it. The driver of the truck made it and he didn't. I don't pretend to have known him well. We saw him in the mornings sometimes, and again, we are sorry for the loss."

A family friend, Julie Gantt, sent this message to NBC12 reporter Ashley Monfort:

I  am out of the country at the moment but would love to spread the word on how kind and loving Chris was. He was such a caring and fun-loving boy. He worked with my children and nephews at Time and was The Godfather to my grandkids. He was my son-in-law Matt Walton's best man and best friend. He was always so kind to my rambunctious grandkids and loved them like his own. Chris was a father to a sweet baby boy and loved his fiancée Adrianna dearly. He came from humble beginnings and worked so hard to take care of his family. Words cannot express the hole that is left in the hearts of my family. He was such an energetic and charismatic man. I worried over him as I did my kids. The job that he did was so dangerous and i have prayed daily for Chris, Matt, my nephews and all of the Time family to keep them from harm. The tears flow as I write this. I just hope to be home for the memorial and to support my grieving children and grandchildren. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak up for him. Unfortunate circumstances have turned this into a political joke and that is hurtful. Thank you again.

Memorial details are still being worked out, but a GoFundMe page has been set up to help with funeral expenses. By early Friday afternoon, nearly $70,000 had been raised.

In a press conference on Thursday, the NTSB says they are hoping to retrieve data from a front-facing camera on the train that was damaged from the crash, in order to learn more about what led to this tragic accident.

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