TribLIVE

| USWorld


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

4 killed, 17 injured when train slams parade float carrying wounded veterans

Daily Photo Galleries

By The Associated Press
Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012, 9:56 p.m.
 

MIDLAND, Texas — A freight train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans on Thursday, killing four people and injuring 17 others as the float crossed a West Texas railroad crossing on its way to an honorary banquet, authorities said.

The eastbound train was sounding its horn before it hit the float around 4:40 p.m. in Midland, Union Pacific spokesman Tom Lange said. A preliminary investigation indicates the crossing gate and lights were working at the time, Lange said, though he didn't know if the train crew saw the float approaching.

Two people died at the scene of the crash, while two others died at Midland Memorial Hospital, City of Midland spokesman Ryan Stout said. Ten of those injured are in critical condition, while the other seven are stable, he said.

“There is going to be a very thorough investigation,” Lange said. “It's obviously a very tragic incident.”

Photos of the float taken during the parade show about two dozen people seated in chairs set up on the back of a flatbed tractor-trailer decorated with American flags. A banner across the truck's front bumper reads, “Heroes on Board.”

Police said the float was among two flat-bed trucks carrying veterans and their spouses. The first truck safely crossed the railroad tracks, but the second truck's trailer was hit by the train. Some of the people riding on the second trailer evacuated before the crash, police said.

The parade was to end at a “Hunt for Heroes” banquet honoring the veterans. The wounded service members were then going to be treated to a deer-hunting trip this weekend. The events have been canceled.

Lange said Union Pacific is offering help to the community and victims' families, as well as peer-to-peer counseling for the train crew, who did not sustain any injuries.

“It's pretty traumatic for them,” he said.

The National Transportation Safety Board also is investigating, NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said.

 

 
 


Show commenting policy

Most-Read Nation

  1. Pilot in Atlantic Ocean crash lost consciousness, Coast Guard says
  2. Border Patrol agent opens fire on armed militia member in Texas
  3. Manatee status as ‘endangered’ draws complaints; classification under review
  4. Texas appeals judge’s ruling on restrictive abortion law
  5. New heart drug seen as significant breakthrough
  6. Squashing stereotypes has women learning carpentry
  7. California governor appeals ruling that struck down schoolteacher tenure
  8. Next hurdle for health care likely tax season
  9. Revival of beer gardens in Milwaukee prompts other cities to consider it to shore up budgets
  10. Use of body cameras by police gain favor across nation
  11. Senate to look at earthquake risks at California nuke plant
Subscribe today! Click here for our subscription offers.