Amtrak Crash: Family Searches For Missing Son, Father

Not much is known about the events leading up to the horrific Amtrak crash that happened earlier this week in Philadelphia, which killed seven and injured hundreds. Sadly, some Amtrak passengers are still missing, leaving family members on a desperate search through area hospitals.

Retired firefighter and police officer, Bob Gildersleeve, Sr., is one such family member anxiously awaiting news of his son, who was a passenger on the Amtrak train that crashed Tuesday. The New York Times reports that Gildersleeve’s experience as an officer gives him a unique perspective of the crash, one that is not particularly comforting for him as he continues the search for his son.

“I expect there’s more bodies in that wreck. I hope my son isn’t there. That’s my deepest hope. If he ain’t there… Where is he? None of the hospitals got him. He’s not in the morgue.”

The officer’s son, Bob Gildersleeve, Jr., dropped off his son, Marc, at lacrosse practice before boarding the ill fated Amtrak train. Marc, 13, is doing everything he can to locate his father, according to the New York Daily News, including distributing flyers with his dad’s picture and information. The hope is that he is not lost within the remains of the Amtrak crash. Marc describes the fear his family feels as they wait.

“Everyone is just frustrated and worried. It’s hard to sit around and wait. It’s hard to keep the patience. The last person to speak to him was my mother, who dropped him off at the train station in Baltimore. He was headed to New York for a business meeting.”

The Gildersleeve family requests that anyone with information on Ecolab employee Bob Gildersleeve, Jr., (201) 988-7472 or (732) 241-5015 or Philadelphia police at (215) 686-3243. Bob was last known to be wearing a blue Under Armour shirt and black shorts when he boarded the Amtrak.


An investigation into the Amtrak crash is under way. The Amtrak entered the railroad curve at 106 miles an hour, over twice the speed limit of 50, causing the entire seven car train to derail and crash. The cause of the crash is yet unknown. Engineer Brandon Bostian has no recollection of the actual crash, although reports have claimed the emergency brake was employed, unfortunately too late to save the Amtrak from the fatal crash. The Amtrak engineer received injuries to his head and knee during the crash. Bostian’s attorney, Robert Goggin, explains what Bostian remembers.

“He remembers driving the train, he remembers going to that area generally, has absolutely no recollection of the incident or anything unusual. The next thing he recalls is being thrown around, coming to, finding his bag, getting his cell phone and dialing 911.”

The NTSB investigation of the Amtrak crash is likely to last several days.

[Image via New York Times]