On the way home Saturday afternoon from the Plano train show on January 21st in 2012, I stopped by Zacha Junction in Garland for the first time in over a year. A set of KCS units in the latest Southern Belle paint scheme was switching, and I took a photo from the side of the road.
The engineer stopped the three General Electric GEVO’s and waved me over. In today’s world I braced myself for whatever. He asked me what I used my photos for and I told him for various magazines and for modeling. I asked him if he would like me to take his picture, and he said certainly, his family would love to have them. Since they were switching I did not think I had time to go get my flash for fill, and quickly took this series so they could go back to work.
I gave the engineer my card so he could email me and I would send him the photos in return. His name was Isaiah Bigler. I sent him the photos but had not heard back from him. Now I sadly know why when I read this post from friend Nathan Bailey to Railspot:
“It’s with a heavy heart I share this tragic news. Shortly before 10am on Wednesday morning KCS lost one of their brothers in train service. Shannon Isaiah Bigler, 36, was killed in a one vehicle car accident on US 69 near Lone Oak. Authorities are reporting his vehicle hydroplaned and struck a tree. Earlier in the day he brought SHDA to Wylie from Shreveport. He leaves behind his wife and children, including one very young infant. His wife Nicole was a classmate of one of my brothers and was a member of my church. Please pray for comfort and peace for this sweet family, their relatives and friends, and his peers at KCS.”
I met a very nice man Saturday afternoon that I only will have ever known for a few minutes. Hindsight is the best sight, and I should have gone back to the car and gotten the flash unit in order to do a better job on these photos of Isaiah. I promised him in my email later that I would do a better job the next time. Now there will be no next time, but I am glad to at least have these to offer to his family.
Thank you so much for posting and making this. It is very sad that we lost a friend and brother, but it is a blessing that you were there to take these photos, so thanks. This is something that we may share and cherish and have as a memory of him. I’m a co-worker of Isaiah’s and I have forwarded this to all the other co-workers. Thanks again and God Bless!
I am a friend of the family. I never had the opportunity to meet Shannon but I did spend some time with his wonderful wife when she was pregnant with the girl who will be 7 months old on Sunday, I believe. I only found your post because I googled “Isaiah Bigler, Lone Oak and wreck” as I was looking for information about the wreck and about the funeral arrangements. I never expected to see your post. Thank you for your passion in blogging and your appreciation for photography. My husband is a full-time photographer so I get what you’re saying about the fill flash and just getting what you can when you can. Anyway, thank you again.
How wonderfully (and secretly) God used you to bring comfort to a sweet family. It is a blessing to be a blessing to others! Keep up the good work!
Ken, Thanks again so much! We truly appreciate what you do for all. I think the pictures are wonderful. The colors are so vibrant. They are wonderful pics. Thanks for posting this.
Sgt. Steven Hill
I never had the pleasure of meeting him. But have worked along side his brother, Forrest “bear” Bigler. If he was just half the man as Forrest then I missed meeting a very special person.
It is awesome that you have been able to do this man great justice. What a proud feeling you must have, yet sad at the same time. Excellent work as always Ken.
Thank you so much for your article about my brother. Your words are very comforting. I enjoy seeing him smiling doing what he loved. May GOD bless you for your kindness.
I thank Jesus for having Isaiah for a little brother and Thank You Ken, for this insightful article.
Ken, I am one of Isaiah’s brothers. Thank you so much for taking these photos and printing these kind words in your article. They give me comfort seeing his smiling face doing what he loved to do.
Unlike some of the above posts, I did have the pleasure of knowing Isaiah and his family and what a great family they are, for his brother is married to my sister of many years now. I can assure you the pictures are greatly appreciated, for I have seen duplicates on Facebook since they were shared. The only positive is Isaiah is now spending quality time with his sister that lost her life to an accident as well, 4 months ago. We love and will miss you “Hi-C”. RIP and enjoy our sacred home we call Heaven…..until we get there.
I had the privilege of work as his conductor a few times. I was really shocked to find out that he is gone. My prayers with his family. It is a huge lost to them and to all of us, his co-workers at KCS. We are gonna miss you bro. RIP Shannon Bigler.
Thank you for sharing this timely post. Our family is very appreciative fo the photos and the reinforcement of how Isaiah affected many lives. He will be forever missed and leaves a large whole in our family unit. God bless you and your family.
A true blessing for these pictures, they capture Isaiah’s happiness and enjoyment as he worked. This series of pictures will now bring joy to his children and family as they look back to all the wonderful memories left by him. Thank you Ken for capturing this memory, a memory we will all cherish forever.
Thanks for taking pictures of my dad. They are the last pictures that I have to remember of him. Thanks so much.