| Home

Larger text Larger text Smaller text Smaller text | Order Photo Reprints

Deadly Texas parade on usual route

Email Newsletters

Sign up for one of our email newsletters.

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012, 9:40 p.m.

MIDLAND, Texas — Organizers of a parade in West Texas in which four military veterans were killed when a train plowed into a truck had been using the same route for three years, investigators said on Sunday.

National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Mark Rosekind also announced that oilfield services company Smith Industries was the owner of the truck that served as the float on which the veterans were riding during Thursday's parade in Midland.

Rosekind said the company was cooperating with investigators, who expect to interview the unidentified driver on Monday.

Rick B. Smith, Smith Industries' CEO and president, did not respond to requests for comment on Sunday.

Investigators have said the truck began crossing the train tracks, even though warning bells were sounding and lights were flashing. It was the second of two parade floats filled with wounded war veterans. The first float had cleared the tracks when the crash happened.

Four veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars were killed and 16 other people were hurt.

According to the NTSB, the warning system was activated 20 seconds before the accident, and the guardrail began to come down seven seconds after that. Rosekind said everything functioned properly, but that investigators would have to make sure the signal timing met the requirements for that crossing.

Some Midland residents said they believe the signal time is too short and that the guardrails are not completely down when a train comes whizzing by.

“The signals come on and the arms go down, but before they are fully down, the train is already at the intersection,” said Mark Thomas, who lives blocks from the track and says he crosses it daily.

The parade was organized by a group called Show of Support-Hunt for Heroes and has been an annual event in Midland for nine years. It was supposed to be the start of a three-day weekend of events in appreciation of the veterans' service.

According to the NTSB, the train sounded its horn nine seconds before the crash. The guardrail hit the truck, and then the engineer pulled the emergency brake, trying to stop the train that was traveling at 62 mph.

Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.



Show commenting policy

Most-Read Stories

  1. Police plan homicide charge for cop-killing suspect
  2. New Kensington man killed in North Buffalo crash
  3. Penn State coach fires offensive coordinator
  4. Police officer fatally shot in New Florence; suspect in custody
  5. As historic breakup nears, Alcoa works to redefine its ‘advantage’
  6. Zatkoff’s, Malkin’s heroics not enough as Oilers down Penguins in shootout
  7. Four downs: Steelers might still be Adams’ best bet
  8. Man surrenders after standoff in Middle Hill
  9. Thomas Jefferson uses defense, running game to capture WPIAL title
  10. Indiana Twp. liver transplant recipient, 2, takes steps toward normal life
  11. Steelers find success vs. NFC