Train Hits 'Wounded Vets' Parade Float, Killing 4

17 injured in horrific Texas accident

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Nov 16, 2012 1:10 AM CST

(Newser) – A freight train crashed into a wounded veterans' parade float in west Texas yesterday, killing four people and wounding 17. At least one of the wounded is still in critical condition; 11 have been released from the hospital, officials say. The float had been carrying 25 people—mainly veterans and their spouses—from a hotel to a banquet, the Midland Reporter-Telegram reports. It was hit as it crossed train tracks, though the crossing gate and lights were working, according to an initial investigation.

Two trucks were carrying veterans, and one made it across the tracks safely before the other was hit. "The train honked its horn, but the 18-wheeler could not go anywhere because of the other one being right in front of it," a nearby driver tells the AP. Says a local sheriff: "It was pandemonium at the point of impact. Some (of the veterans) tried to jump and protect each other, their girlfriends and their wives."

A flatbed truck carries wounded veterans and their families during a parade before it was struck by a train Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012 in Midland, Texas.   (AP Photo/Reporter-Telegram, James Durbin)
Parade participants and public safety officials huddle after a trailer carrying wounded veterans in a parade was struck by a train in Midland, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/Reporter-Telegram, James Durbin)
Volunteers at the United Blood Services line up to give blood after a parade float carrying veterans and their families was struck by a train Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/Reporter-Telegram, James Durbin)
Bystanders react as emergency personnel work the scene where a trailer carrying wounded veterans in a parade was struck by a train in Midland, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 15, 2012.   (AP Photo/Reporter-Telegram, James Durbin)
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