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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:57 PM

Officials: Vets' float crossed track after signals

Source: Associated Press

By JUAN CARLOS LLORCA
Associated Press / November 17, 2012

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) ó A parade float filled with wounded veterans that collided with a freight train had crossed onto the railroad tracks after warning signals were going off, investigators said Saturday.

...


It was the second of two floats carrying veterans in Thursdayís parade in Midland. The first was exiting the tracks when the warning bells and signals were activated, 20 seconds before the accident, according to the National Transportation Safety Board. The second float didnít enter the tracks until several seconds after the warning system went off, the NTSB said. By that time, the guardrail was lowering.

...


Nine seconds before the crash, the train sounded its horn, a blaring that lasted four seconds, according to Rosekind. The guardrail hit the truck, then the engineer pulled the emergency brake, trying to bring the train that was traveling at 62 mph to screeching halt.

...


Killed were Marine Chief Warrant Officer 3 Gary Stouffer, 37; Army Sgt. Maj. Lawrence Boivin, 47; Army Sgt. Joshua Michael, 34; and Army Sgt. Maj. William Lubbers, 43.

...



Read more: http://www.boston.com/news/local/new-hampshire/2012/11/17/officials-vets-float-crossed-track-after-signals/qcDcdKqvWRhFFqlw4pX7FL/story.html

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Reply Officials: Vets' float crossed track after signals (Original post)
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 OP
elleng Nov 2012 #1
LisaL Nov 2012 #2
elleng Nov 2012 #3
99th_Monkey Nov 2012 #4
elleng Nov 2012 #5
99th_Monkey Nov 2012 #6
mike dub Nov 2012 #7
LisaL Nov 2012 #8
99th_Monkey Nov 2012 #9
AtheistCrusader Nov 2012 #10
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #11
Drahthaardogs Nov 2012 #12
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #16
Drahthaardogs Nov 2012 #17
TwilightGardener Nov 2012 #18
struggle4progress Nov 2012 #13
LiberalEsto Nov 2012 #14
pinboy3niner Nov 2012 #15
happyslug Nov 2012 #19

Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:59 PM

1. Had to be something like that. Sounds like float not well controlled.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:06 PM

2. Float was on a bed of a truck.

So I am not sure what you mean by "not well controlled."

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Response to LisaL (Reply #2)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:13 PM

3. Vehicle couldn't be stopped in time

to respond to signals which, I assume, were seen and heard. If not seen and heard, driver concentrating on vehicle it was following than on safety signals.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:43 PM

4. What I don't get is why the flatbed truck didn't just plow through

the freaking gates? You know, like they do in the movies?

But seriously, those puny little gates that come down at RR
crossings couldn't stop a large truck that was intent on barreling
through it. Unless, of course, the first truck in front of the one
that got hit had come to a stop, thus preventing the 2nd truck
from proceeding forward?

The whole incident is so sad and tragic. geesh. I really feel
for those poor families, that were just trying to have a nice
little celebration for Vets.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #4)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:47 PM

5. 'The first was exiting the tracks

when the warning bells and signals were activated, 20 seconds before the accident.'

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Response to elleng (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:10 PM

6. Yes I saw that

but it doesn't say whether the 1st truck just stopped then deadin it's tracks or not.
If it hadn't stopped, then my question stands.

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Response to elleng (Reply #5)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:50 PM

7. Tragic accident...

Read about this tragedy this morning in the New York Times.

Reminded me of seeing a Norfolk Southern mainline freight (probably also in the 7,200 foot long range - the length of this TX tragedy train) coming through a rural crossing a few weeks ago. She was doin' 65 easy.

Three family members in our car simultaneously commented on how there'd be no way for our Chevy Tahoe (with a powerful 350 V8 / my thought) to get out of the way of that train if we were merely entering the tracks. So there's not much way a flat bed truck could get out of the way, with another parade flat bed potentially penning it in in front. May have been a true death-trap.

NYTimes said the RR crossing gates were closing on people seated on the flat bed that was hit. One veteran pushed his wife off of the flat bed before the train hit it, saving her life.

I can't imagine what the folks of Midland are going through now. And I don't want to know the pain that was going on in the cab of the locomotive when the train's crew saw that flat bed up ahead...certain that they'd hit it.

All tragic.

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 12:19 AM

8. I don't understand what you mean. The gates didn't stop the large truck.

If the gates stopped the truck it wouldn't have been on a railroad tracks to begin with.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #8)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 02:16 AM

9. hmm, true dat

i guess I was thinking of the gate on far side of tracks,
not the one before tracks. I dunno really. It's just a
very sad incident, I think it's what's called a "freak
accident".

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Response to 99th_Monkey (Reply #4)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:12 AM

10. Well, if the bar came down behind the cab

it could end up stripping a bunch of people off the float, depositing them more or less right on the tracks, so that would have maybe been worse.

Hard to say. Sounds grisly, but I wish there was video, so that others can learn from this apparent mistake. All signs point to human error on the part of the driver of the truck, at the moment.

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Response to AtheistCrusader (Reply #10)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 03:35 AM

11. NTSB investigators have video from the train's camera and a police vehicle

They also were in the process of obtaining video taken by a witness in the crowd and confiscated by local police. The Safety Board released a timeline based on preliminary analysis:

Investigators have not yet seen any anomalies in the warning system, he said.

Because of the new evidence, the NTSB has been able to establish a timeline of the events leading up to the train crashing into the Show of Support parade float, Rosekind said. The float was one of two carrying 24 veterans and their wives to a Hunt for Heroes banquet at the Horseshoe.

The warning systemís lights and bells were activated 20 seconds before the crash. The arms of the gate descended seven seconds later, or 13 seconds before the crash, Rosekind said.

Preliminary analysis of video footage obtained at the scene shows the second truck beginning to cross the north rail 12 seconds before the crash, meaning that the truck began crossing the tracks after the arms began to descend, Rosekind said.

The trainís engineer blew the warning horn nine seconds before the crash; it blared for four seconds, while the gate arms struck the float seven seconds before the crash, hitting flagpoles on the float. The trainís emergency brakes were engaged five seconds before the crash. The train came to a complete stop 75 seconds later, he said.

http://www.mywesttexas.com/top_stories/article_3a64e764-3146-11e2-9c0b-001a4bcf887a.html



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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:30 AM

12. Trains are not supposed to be going 60 mph through town.

That is just dangerous. Surely they could slow them down to a reasonable speed in town.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #12)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 11:59 AM

16. Vehicles aren't supposed to be on the tracks. People hate

waiting for slow-moving trains and try to get around them so the trains move faster (with gates and lights), and people bitch about that too. It's really, really not the railroad's fault. It's the fault of people who do not respect rail crossings.

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Response to TwilightGardener (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 05:53 PM

17. I agree people do stupid things, but a train has no business going through a residential area

at 60mph. Even police have to break off high speed chases in populated areas.

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Response to Drahthaardogs (Reply #17)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 06:23 PM

18. It wasn't a residential area, it was an industrial area at the edge of town.

High speed chases use the same roads we do--speed is dangerous there. Trains are pretty predictable as to where they run--as long as you stay off the rails, or stop-look-listen when you cross tracks, you will never collide with a train, fast or slow.

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:34 AM

13. "... At 20 seconds, the crossing's warning lights began to flash and the bells sounded. At the same

time, the lead parade float's trailer crossed the southern edge of the track's rail and made it through. Thirteen seconds before impact, the crossing arms began to come down. One second later, the trailer carrying the veterans began crossing the track, its front tires rolling over the northern edge of the rail. Three seconds later, the train engineer blasted his horn, stretching out the blare for four seconds ..."

Midland train crash: Float crossed as warnings sounded, NTSB says
November 17, 2012, 9:05 p.m.
http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nationnow/la-na-nn-midland-train-crash-warnings-20121117,0,1589904.story

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:13 AM

14. Did the driver of the float survive the crash?

I can't find anything about the driver.

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Response to LiberalEsto (Reply #14)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:21 AM

15. Yes, but NTSB has not yet interviewed the driver. nt

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Response to pinboy3niner (Original post)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:19 PM

19. This incident was reported in "Latest Breaking News" on 11-16-2012

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