Plane crash takes two industry veterans

Written by Mischa Wanek-Libman, editor

Patsy Crisafi, co-founder, principal and executive vice-president of Roadway Worker Training, Inc., and Vinnie Vaccarello, president and co-owner of All Railroad Services Corporation, both of St. Augustine, Fla., were killed in a small plane crash on Oct. 3 in Gary, Ind.

Friends and colleagues of Crisafi issued the following statement:

“It is with deep sadness that we share the loss of our friend and business associate, Patsy Crisafi. Patsy John Crisafi of St Augustine, Fla., formerly of Connellsville, Penn., was born January 11, 1964, and has left us much too soon on October 3, 2012.

“Patsy was a loving son, brother, uncle, and friend. He was preceded in death by his father, Patsy Crisafi and mother, Catherine Crisafi, both of Connellsville, Penn. Patsy grew up in Connellsville and graduated from Connellsville Area High School in 1981.

“He was loved and will be sadly missed by his fiancée Jackie Carter and her son Adam as well as Patsy’s sister Lisa (Crisafi) Nudo, her husband Kenneth and nephew Devin Nudo.

“Patsy was a respected businessman and entrepreneur. Following a successful 18-year career with CSX Transportation, which included stops in Connellsville, Penn., Atlanta, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla., he left to pursue other business interests in the railroad industry. Patsy accepted a position as executive vice-president of Utilco Company in Tifton, Ga. He was later the co-founder, principle, and executive vice-president of Roadway Worker Training, Inc., a successful railroad industry consulting, training and support company.

“His special railroad expertise was Railroad Operating Rules, safety and technical training and the development and implementation of railroad safety policies.”

Mike Heridia, co-president of All Railroad Services Corp., released the following press statement:

“It is with profound sadness that I confirm the loss of my friend and business partner, Vinnie Vaccarello.

“Tragically, while traveling on a business trip with Patsy Crisafi, a close friend and business association, the CIRRUS SP 22 personal aircraft, crashed in Gary Indiana, one-mile short of the runway. The railroad industry, the organizations that support rail service operations and the marketplace has lost two dynamic and vital members of their community.

“Establishing our own company was a dream that Vinnie and I shared. With the formation of All Railroad Services Corp., our dreams were realized.”

Services for Crisafi will be held at Brooks Funeral Home, Inc., 111 East Green Street Connellsville, Penn., visitation will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 10 and Thursday Oct. 11, a blessing service, funeral mass and burial will be held on Friday, Oct. 12. For more information on times, please visit

In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations to St. Rita’s Cemetery Care Fund; ASPCA; Humane Society or Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

A viewing will be held for Vaccarello on Oct. 12 at Hardage – Giddens Funeral Home, 11801 San Jose Blvd., Jacksonville, Fla., and a service will be held Oct. 13 at Juan Del Rio Catholic Church, 1718 State Road North, St. Johns, Fla.

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