In an early morning accident Tuesday, July 9, Local 794 member Kevin Beggs was trapped under a BNSF boxcar, causing him to lose his legs. Currently, Beggs is listed in critical condition at Via Christi on St. Francis Hospital in Wichita, Kan., where he was flown via helicopter. It has been reported that Beggs has internal injuries and doctors have been struggling to regulate his blood pressure.
Officials don’t yet know what happened at the scene, but it is believed that Beggs fell from the boxcar and was run over and trapped beneath it.
Wellington Fire Chief Tim Hay, who was on the scene, sai that Beggs was working at the BNSF switching station when he fell from the boxcar. Hay said that Beggs allegedly fell to the tracks and was run over and pinned by two of the wheels of the 1,000-plus pound rail car.
Hay contends that BNSF employee Blaine Zeka was very helpful in the rescue when he produced a jack for the rail cars that could simultaneously lift the axel and the wheels at the same time.
“He had the expertise to operate the jack,” Hay said. “He was instrumental in assisting with the 45-minute extrication.”
Beggs has a wife and a son, Eliot, currently serving in Afghanistan. He has been an active member of his Wellington community, having served as the Chamber of Commerce president, ran a bakery and owned the Regent Theater.