updated 8:49 a.m.
MIDLAND, Texas (AP) - Officials say four veterans were killed after a train slammed into a parade float stuck on a railroad crossing in West Texas.
Midland city spokesman Ryan Stout says 37-year-old Sgt. Maj. Gary Stouffer and 47-year-old Sgt. Maj. Lawrence Boivin were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident Thursday afternoon.
Stout says 34-year-old Army Sgt. Joshua Michael and 43- year-old Army Sgt. Maj. William Lubbers were pronounced dead later at Midland Memorial Hospital.
Stout says police on Friday confirmed the identities of those who died. Sixteen others were hurt in the crash. Four are in stable condition and one is critical. Ten others were treated and released from the hospital.
updated 7:39 a.m.
A UMC spokesperson confirms one person was transported by air to the Lubbock hospital.
Also, Senator John Cornyn released this statement:
“This is a senseless tragedy that has claimed the life of at least one Texas hero, and I know the entire state of Texas joins me in prayer and mourning for these victims. May God comfort the loved ones of those killed and bring healing to the injured.”
MIDLAND, Texas (AP) - Federal officials are heading to West Texas to join investigators looking into why a freight train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans, killing four people and injuring 17 others.
Witnesses described a harrowing scene Thursday afternoon as the Union Pacific locomotive beard down on the decorated flatbed truck as it tried to clear the rail crossing on its way to an honorary banquet.
The train was sounding its horn and people on the flatbed truck - mostly wounded veterans and their spouses - were scrambling to jump off before the collision in Midland, according to witnesses and Union Pacific spokesman Tom Lange.
A preliminary investigation indicates the crossing gate and lights were working, Lange said, though he didn't know if the train crew saw the float approaching.