Top 5 of 2016

Top 5 of 2016

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - This year has been nothing short of crazy, and the news is no exception.

In 2016, Trump became president of the United States, we dealt with the Zika outbreak, lost many of our Hollywood favorites, healed after the attack on the Brussels airport, and even experienced the release of "Pokemon Go."

But we had some big news here in the Panhandle too. So, we rounded up the five biggest stories that have impacted our area the most.

The Panhandle Train Crash

On Tuesday, June 28, two BNSF freight trains met head-on just outside of Panhandle, TX, causing the trains to derail and scatter the cars in every direction.

The National Transportation Safety Board said one of the trains failed to slow at a yellow warning sign and continued through a red signal before crashing into the other train.

The crash caused a major fire that burned in the days to follow, but most tragic was the loss of three BNSF conductors.

Cody Owens, of Claude, Kenneth Smith and Lara Taylor, both of Amarillo, were all killed in the collision.

The sole survivor of the crash, Derek Schilling, filed a lawsuit against BNSF in November for $1 million in damages.

Walmart Hostage Situation

Upset over a missed promotion, Walmart employee Mohammad Moghaddam entered the Walmart on Georgia Street the morning of June 14, fired a gunshot into the air, and then took the store manager and another employee hostage before he was fatally shot by the Amarillo Police Department's SWAT team.

The Amarillo Police Department cited the dispute between Moghaddam, 54, and the store manager as a strong motive.

Surveillance video obtained by NewsChannel 10 shows panicked customers quickly escaping the store as Moghaddam forced the manager toward the office area while pointing a gun at his back.

Shortly after the noon hour, tactical units found one hostage and later located Moghaddam and the store manager.

Moghaddam was shot and killed. Neither hostage was injured.

Creepy Clown Sightings

A bizarre national fad made its way to the Panhandle in October as pranksters looking for a Halloween scare made nighttime appearances at parks, grocery stores, and even several neighborhoods.

But a homeowner in Pampa made it clear to two clowns that he wasn't joking around.

He grabbed a pistol and fired a warning shot as soon as they entered his yard, according to police.

Here's to the clown trend not being part of 2017!

The Death of Alexis Wartena

In July, a widespread search effort for a 7-year-old girl with autism ended in tragedy when the Amarillo Police Department's Dive Team recovered the body of Alexis Wartena in a playa lake behind a motel.

The Wartena family was driving back home to California when they decided to stop in Amarillo for rest.

Alexis disappeared from the family's room in the late afternoon on July 18, beginning a 19-hour search effort by multiple area agencies.

The Wartenas sat down with NewsChannel 10 for an in-depth interview about the tragedy.

11 Car Pile-up

In June, around 11 p.m., six semi-trucks and five passenger cars were involved in a major crash which injured multiple people and claimed the life of one person.

The deceased passenger was later identified by DPS as Tammy Page, of New York.

The cause of the crash has been determined; however, some drivers reported strong winds and blowing dust which caused low visibility in that area during that time.

Copyright 2016 KFDA. All rights reserved.