Family Remembers Man Hit, Killed By Frontrunner Train In Orem

Jan 3, 2019, 1:32 AM | Updated: 2:15 am

OREM, Utah – The family of Shane Zapien, 50, says he never let his disability get in the way.

“I’m not sure he even knew he had a disability,” Dex Larsen, Shane’s brother said. “He could do what we could do with a little supervision on some things, but I don’t think he realized he was less or more than anybody. He just felt like he was one of us.”

Larsen said his brother was headed to his first official day at a new job Wednesday morning when he was hit and killed by a FrontRunner train. After getting the news from UTA that the man hit while crossing in a designated crossing area appeared to not have seen the train, Larsen suspected his brother had not been paying attention.

“He’d transfer from Orem FrontRunner to the Murray station for his employment, and he was excited to go,” Larsen said. “He liked this new job.”

Since his 20s, Zapien has held seven jobs. That independent spirit is something they say he’s always had.

“He’d say, ‘I’m independent.’ He would learn everything that he could that was possible for him to learn,” Kristi Larsen, Shane’s sister-in-law said.

Zaipen enjoyed going to Lagoon, water sports with family at Willard Bay and competing in the Special Olympics.

“The kid was an athlete, he just didn’t realize the athlete he was,” Dex Larsen said.

Zapien grew up in Clearfield, and for the last decade lived in an assisted living facility in Orem.

His family is doing what they can to cope with the loss. They are cherishing their memories with him, especially ones from this last Christmas.

“He still believed in Santa. Everything on his list this year was Harry Potter items,” Kristi Larsen said. “I just don’t know how we are going to do without Shane.”

The family hopes others can learn from Zapien’s example. They have set up a GoFundMe account to help with funeral expenses.

“I hope people can learn to enjoy life, and he did. It just got cut too short,” Larsen said.

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Family Remembers Man Hit, Killed By Frontrunner Train In Orem