Train Hits Parade Float, Midland Train Crash Investigators Speak

A Midland, Texas train crash in which a locomotive barreling full-force hit a parade float of wounded vets and their spouses has killed four people and wounded 17 more, and, as officials seek an explanation for how the horrifying accident occurred, witnesses describe watching the tragic scene unfold.

The train hit the parade float in the Midland train crash at 5 pm CST yesterday during the annual Show Of Support parade to honor wounded veterans and their spouses. The float itself was one of two carrying the group, and one of the flatbed trailers made it safely across the tracks before the accident.

As the second float went across the tracks, the train struck the parade float at full speed. This morning, a National Transportation Safety Board chair spoke about the initial investigation to determine how exactly the Midland train crash happened.

Deborah Hersman says a camera on the train may yield clues as to what happened in the moments before the train hit the parade float:

“That will give us some video images if it survived the crash and we can download it, as well as recorders on the train … We’re going to be looking at the signals … and making sure that the gates and lights were coming down.”

Last night, Union Pacific spokesman Tom Lange confirmed that signals and lights that normally prevent accidents like the train striking the parade float were fully functional, but a black box on the locomotive should shed light on the speed the train had reached before the Midland train crash.

train hits parade float midland train crash

Lange said:

“There is going to be a very thorough investigation … It’s obviously a very tragic incident.”

Witnesses to the Midland train crash describe a heartbreaking scene in which many on the parade float struck tried to escape but were unable.