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NTSB: Investigation into Parade Float-Train Collision Still Underway

Posted on November 20th, 2012 No Comments

Last week in Midland, Texas, a Union Pacific train struck a parade float killing four veterans and injuring multiple overs. The injured veteran, who was driving the float at the time of the collision, is still receiving medical treatment.

The 50-year-old veteran was a Smith Industries Inc. employee who served in Iraq as well as Afghanistan. Official close to the case have stated that the man is currently “not in good shape.” Investigators are currently looking for details in the case in order to determine what happened.

For some reason the flatbed trailer truck failed to make it through the railroad crossing and was struck by the train that was traveling over 60 mph at the time.

Police officials have stated that the man had a valid commercial truck driver’s license and that his employer, Smith Industries has donated drivers and trucks in order to help the Show of Support’s Hunt for Heroes parade since it began in 2004. The company manufactures and sells equipment used in the oilfield.

The man’s flatbed float was the last one in the parade and it was escorted by police officers. Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board stated that their preliminary investigation shows that the man drove into the railroad crossing just seconds after the warning bell and lights went off.

The cab of the truck made it over the tracks, but flags attached to the trailer struck the crossing arms that were descending and this may have caused the vehicle to get stuck. Twelve veterans and their spouses were seated in this area at the time.  Sixteen people total were killed in the accident.

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