Union Pacific pays special tribute to employee

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NORTH PLATTE, Neb.-- Union Pacific Railroad honored a former employee Thursday morning.

At 10 a.m. sharp, the conductors and engineers in Bailey Yard honked their horns in honor of Tony Znaniecki, who died in a dirt bike accident last Friday.

"It is emotional," Jason Pflughaupt, a friend and former co-worker, said. "Anytime you loose a brother that you are close to (and) that you are a co-worker with, it gets to you and you realize how quick things can go away and how precious life is."

Pflughaupt said the conductors blowing their whistles is a gesture that allows those who could not make it to the funeral to keep him in their hearts and minds. Pflughaupt and Suny Hothan, another co-worker, said Znaniecki will be greatly missed.

"It's a sad day," Pflughaupt explained as he tried to find the right words to articulate how he was feeling. "It's a sad day for everybody out here that knew him and everybody even that didn't know him because they know how quick life can change. For me, I worked with Tony a couple of times (and) he's a great guy. (I) never had to worry about him (because) he did his job professionally."

Znaniecki was 43-years-old. The funeral was held at Parkview Community Church of the Nazarene.