Train crash claims man
May 5, 2013

A second person has died of injuries suffered last month when a freight train plowed into a transit bus at a railroad crossing in Evans City.

John D. Burkett, 88, of Zelienople died Saturday at the VNA Inpatient Hospice in Butler.

Burkett was one of 10 passengers aboard the Butler Area Rural Transit bus just after 8 a.m. April 26 when it was struck by the Allegheny Valley Railroad train at the crossing on Maple Avenue, authorities said.

All the passengers and the bus driver were hurt and taken to local and area hospitals.

Burkett and Claudette Miller, 91, of Callery were reported to have suffered the most serious injuries and both were immediately flown by medical helicopter to Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh.

Miller died at the hospital of head and upper body injuries about four hours later.

Burkett remained in AGH’s shock trauma unit for five days before being transferred to the VNA Inpatient Hospice. His cause of death was not immediately available.

A Harmony native, Burkett owned and operated his family’s milk-hauling business for many years. He also had a long career at Mine Safety Appliances.

He served in the U.S. Army Corps during World War II.

He was married for 66 years to wife, Mary Lou, who survives, as do the couple’s three children.