Doomed Parade Float Used Tried-and-True Route
Floats had followed same one for 3 years
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Nov 19, 2012 8:51 AM CST
A flag flies at the scene of the accident in Midland, Texas, on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012.   (Juan Carlos Llorca)
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(Newser) – Organizers of the parade in West Texas in which four US military veterans were killed when a train plowed into a truck had been using the same route for three years, investigators said yesterday. The NTSB says the company that owned the truck is cooperating with investigators, who expect to interview the driver today. It's believed the truck began crossing the train tracks even though warning bells were sounding and lights were flashing, but some Midland residents say they believe the signal time is too short.

They say the guardrails aren't completely down by the time 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," says a resident who lives blocks from the track and says he crosses it daily. The NTSB will conduct a sight test, probably tomorrow, to try to determine what the train engineer could see leading up to the crash. Two of the injured were still at a Midland hospital as of yesterday afternoon, one in critical condition and another in stable condition.