A homecoming celebration turned tragic when a freight train crashed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans. Four people were killed and 17 others were injured.
The Texas train accident occurred in the West Texas town of Midland at about 4:40 p.m. on Thursday, November 15, 2012. Nearly two dozen people were riding on the back of a flatbed tractor-trailer decorated with American flags. The float was one of two carrying wounded veterans and their families to a celebration banquet. The first truck drove safely through a railway crossing, but as the second truck crossed, the barriers started to come down and a train came into view. The truck was not able to get over the tracks in time. The eastbound freight train sounded its horn and then crashed into the float. Some of the riders were able to jump to safety; others were not.
Two of the veterans died at the scene. Two more died at Midland Memorial Hospital. Seventeen were wounded, seven in critical condition. Those who escaped administered first aid to the wounded.
The veterans were on their way to a “Hunt for Heroes” banquet. They were to be treated to a weekend deer hunting trip.
According to a Union Pacific spokesperson, the crossing gate and lights were working at the time of the Texas truck accident. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.
The Texas accident attorneys at the Rasansky Law Firm would like to offer our condolences to the families of Sgt. Maj. Gary Stouffer, Sgt. Maj. Lawrence Boivin, Army Sgt. Joshua Michael, and Sgt. Maj. William Lubbers.