Posted: Nov 16, 2012 9:23 AM
Updated: Nov 16, 2012 9:23 AM
Source: Associated Press
DALLAS - Federal officials are joining investigators in West Texas to look 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.