Great Falls (Mt) Tribune - 13 Feb 1986

   BN employee killed in switching accident by the Assoc. Press and Tribune Staff.

   Inverness - A Burlington Northern Railroad worker was killed Monday night when he apparently slipped

and fell from a freight train that was switching cars near here, authorities say.

   Liberty County Undersheriff Doug Riggin said the body of Michael Vanek, 33, of Havre, was found

about 5 feet from the tracks by co-workers. Attempts to revive Vanek were unsuccessful, he said.

Vanek most likely slipped and was pinned between a railroad car's wheel and the track, Riggin said,

although details of the accident remain sketchy. As far as officials know, no one saw the accident, which

occured near Inverness at about 9 p.m., he added.

   Inverness is about 45 minutes west of Havre.

   Pat Kelm, division superintendent for BN, said there is "no question" that the death was an accident.

   As part of routine procedure, the Federal Railroad Administration will investigate the accident.

   Vanek was a brakeman and switchman with BN for the past seven years, but was working at the time of

the accident as a conductor, authorities said, He was a labor representative for switchman and served on

the BN safety committee.

   Rosary will be 7 p.m. Thursday at the Holland & Bonine Funeral Home in Havre. Funeral will be 11 a.m. Friday

at St. Judes Catholic Church, with burial in Highland Cemetery.

   A Lewistown native, Vanek's family also lived in Choteau before moving here in 1964. He attended St Jude's school and graduated from Havre High School in 1971. He was a 1975 graduate from Carroll College and began work for Burlington Northern in 1978.

   Surviving are his parents, John and Marie Vanek of Helena; sister, Marianne Vanek of Billings and a grandmother, Anna Vanek of Lewistown.