Minnesota business VP is 8th person to die in Amtrak crash, family confirms


A vice-president at St. Paul-based Ecolab has been confirmed as the eighth person to have died in Tuesday's Amtrak crash in Philadelphia.

The aunt of 45-year-old Bob Gildersleeve Jr., who lives in Maryland but keeps an office in St. Paul, confirmed to the New York Daily News that his body was pulled from the wreckage by searchers on Thursday morning.

"They found him," she told the newspaper, with a close friend of the Gildersleeve family confirming to CBS 12 the VP's body had been identified.

The father-of-two was reported missing following the derailment, and was not among the seven people confirmed dead in the accident as of Wednesday night.

"We are deeply saddened by the loss of our friend and colleague," Doug Baker, Ecolab Chairman and CEO, told the Business Journal.

"Bob was an exceptional leader and was instrumental to our success. We will greatly miss him, and our thoughts go out to his beloved family members and friends," he added.

The news is all the more heartbreaking given that Gildersleeve's 13-year-old son Marc had traveled to Philadelphia with his grandfather to look for his father, handing out flyers outside hotels appealing for information.

"Everyone is just frustrated and worried," Marc told the Daily News. "It's hard to sit around and wait. It's hard to keep the patience."

Bob Gildersleeve Sr. told the Wall Street Journal his son’s phone was recovered on the railroad tracks.

"All individuals who we believe were on that train have now been accounted for," Mayor Michael A. Nutter of Philadelphia said, the New York Times reports. "The person found dead Thursday morning was the last of those to be located."

The Amtrak train was reported to be traveling over 100 mph, more than twice the speed limit of the bend it was on, when it derailed, injuring more than 200 passengers, reports note.

Next Up