HUNTINGDON COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A long-time member of the East Broad Top Foundation passed away while traveling to work at the railroad on July 6. Now, his work family is honoring him with one last ride by shutting down the railroad and trolley museum this Saturday.
If you took a recent trip to visit the East Broad Top Railroad and Rockhill Trolley Museum, chances are you saw Eric Turner in his element.
“When I say he was here around the clock, I mean he was working as an employee in our roundhouse on Monday through his regular work week,” Director of Sales and Marketing Jonathan Smith said. “Then came back on the weekends with his wife to volunteer at the Trolley Museum.”
The Hollidaysburg native worked as a locomotive restoration specialist for the railroad and volunteered at the museum on the weekends.
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“You can’t say enough about Eric,” Joel Salomon from the Rockhill Trolley Museum said. “He was just a kindhearted person that would do anything for anyone.”
He shared some of his most cherished memories at the site with his wife, Shannon.
“They got married in front of Car 163 sitting right on the track there,” Dave Galpern from the Rockhill Trolley Museum said. “They just looked stunning. They really looked like they were so happy which they certainly were. It was a really special moment for the trolley museum.”
On July 6, Eric died due to injuries sustained in an automobile accident while traveling to work. On July 16, the EBT is shutting down the place where he gave so much in his honor.
“We don’t want to exclude anyone that wants the chance to say goodbye to him, go say their condolences, give their condolences to Shannon and family, so we made the decision to shut down,” Galpern said.
Both the Trolley Museum and the Railroad will be closed on Saturday. Galpern noted the hole that will be left at the site since Eric’s passing.
“If you were having a bad day, he would talk to you and just make you feel better in any way that he could,” Galpern said. “I think the Trolley Museum and the East Broad Top really lost a cornerstone of their workforce and he’s gonna really be missed.”
A GoFundMe page has been organized in Eric’s honor.