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Longmeadow, MA March 15, 2017: On Tuesday, March 14 at approximately 4PM, a Town of Longmeadow Department of Public Works plow truck was struck by an Amtrak train while crossing the tracks at Tina Lane (aka Birnie Road). The driver of the vehicle, a DPW employee, was killed instantly. The Amtrak train was traveling north to Springfield and was clearing the tracks of snow. It was not a passenger service train.
The DPW employee driving the vehicle was a Working Foreman named Warren Cowles (pronounced “coles”), age 59. “Cowlesie,” as he was affectionately known to the Department, was a Longmeadow resident who worked for the Town for over 29 years.
Select Board Chair Marie Angelides offered the following on behalf of the Board:
“We are deeply saddened by this tragic loss. The Select Board has directed the Town Manager to provide any and all available resources to help the DPW, and all Town employees, in this time of need. Our thoughts and prayers are with Warren’s family and friends.”
Town Manager Stephen Crane said this about Mr. Cowles:
“Cowlesie was a talented and hardworking colleague whose generosity of spirit made him, in many ways, the heart of the Department.”
DPW Director Mario Mazza said:
“Cowlesie’s ‘get it done’ attitude was infectious. His positive attitude and work ethic brought out the best in everyone he worked with. We will miss him everyday.”
There is an ongoing investigation into the accident is being conducted by Longmeadow Police, Massachusetts State Police, and Amtrak Police. The initial finding is that this was a tragic accident.
Information about funeral arrangements will be released when it becomes available. Please contact Stephen Crane at (413) 565-4110 for more information.