SUNSET -- Charlie DuBose will be missed by the community, say his family, the Sunset mayor and employees at Charlie's Service and RV Repair.
The 52-year-old West Haven man died Monday night when his 1995 Chevrolet club cab pickup was hit by a FrontRunner train, said Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Todd Johnson.
Investigators said DuBose tried to beat the train by driving around the barrier arms and onto a railroad crossing.
The southbound train, which was going about 80 mph, hit DuBose's truck on the passenger side, coming to a stop about a half-mile after impact, Johnson said.
DuBose's family issued a statement Tuesday afternoon.
"Charlie was a free spirit who was loved by all that knew him," the statement reads. "This loss has left a large hole in the lives of those that knew him, one that will not heal anytime soon. His family and friends consider his life a great blessing that will never be forgotten."
DuBose was the longtime owner of the automotive and recreation vehicle repair shop on Main Street in Sunset.
Kelly Cartwright, one of the eight employees, said she learned of DuBose's death through a phone call Tuesday morning on her way to work.
"They asked me if I could handle keeping things going today," said Cartwright, who has worked at the automotive repair shop for the past year.
Tuesday was a difficult day for Cartwright and her co-workers as they met with customers and vendors, she said.
"Charlie was loved by hundreds of people," Cartwright said. "People traveled from the East Coast to have their RVs serviced."
She said it was not unusual to see at least 17 large motor homes parked next to the service shop during the summer.
Sunset Mayor Chad Bangerter said he met DuBose when he moved to Sunset 15 years ago.
"Charlie has contributed to the city in a number of ways," Bangerter said. "He sponsored our autorama, car shows and was always contributing and involved."
Bangerter said the news of DuBose's death sent shock waves through the small community.
"As the word gets out, everyone is in shock," Bangerter said.
Louise Eames, of Roy, said a friend called her to tell her that her lifelong friend DuBose had died.
"I don't know of a nicer, kinder, more loving person than Charlie," Eames said.
Eames, who is 5 feet tall, said DuBose, who was larger, would always give her bear hugs when he saw her.
DuBose was also the type of person who was willing to help others, Eames said.
"He didn't know how to say 'no,' " she said.
Eames said DuBose was a member of Wasatch Rods & Custom Car Club.
"We're all still walking around and asking why did this happen," she said.
The accident occurred at 475 W. 1800 North on the Sunset/Clinton border. DuBose was killed instantly.
Eighteen passengers were on the train. One was transported to the hospital but appeared to have only minor injuries, UTA officials said.
The driver of the FrontRunner has been placed on administrative leave during the investigation and provided with counseling, Carpenter said. Standard procedure also requires the driver to be tested for drugs or alcohol.