Topic: Revealed: How heroic veteran killed by an oncoming train during parade saved his wife by pushing her off the wounded warriors float moments before the collision
Revealed: How heroic veteran killed by an oncoming train during parade saved his wife by pushing her off the wounded warriors float moments before the collision Daily Mail (UK), by Michael Zennie & Snejana Farberov
Sgt Joshua Michael, a Purple Heart recipient, was killed along with three other people when a train slammed into a parade float they were riding to a veterans´ banquet in Midland, Texas, but not before committing one final act of heroism by pushing his wife off the doomed vehicle. The victim, identified by authorities as Sgt Joshua Michael, 34, was among the 26 people riding on a flatbed truck en route to a ´Show of Support´ dinner in their honor when a Union Pacific freight train suddenly appeared on the tracks and ploughed through the float.
This is absolutely horrifying. How can the alarms and arms at the crossing be considered as "properly functioning" yet bystanders say the arms did not come down? If they came down, there´s no way the truck and vets were taken off guard. Someone´s head is going to roll on this one. Incidentally, it´s amazing the damage was not far worse if that train was really going 60 mph.
I find it hard to believe that the gates didn´t come down. That is always said after a train/car collision, and is almost always proven wrong. If they didn´t work, why do the photos show the gates down?
I used to drive home every day across a main line RR track. Despite numerous signs that said, "do not stop on tracks," cars would stop on the tracks, and drivers would honk their horns at me because I made sure there was enough room for my car before I crossed the tracks. As soon as I crossed the tracks, the space would fill up behind me with cars stopped on the tracks. People just don´t take trains seriously.
According to local (No. Texas) news the gates did work but the truck was caught with vehicles in front and behind him leaving no escape. The driver of the truck should have known to wait until the traffic in front of him was clear to the point he could go. This is a UP mainline with high speed trains and trust me, trains going 60pmh don´t stop fast and the engineer can only see to far in advance.
It sounded to me like the vehicles ahead of this one were stopped because of slow parade stuff in front of them. I surmised from that that the driver of this vehicle pulled on up behind them thinking they´d move on shortly, not realizing the danger of the RR track. I NEVER pull up to cross a RR track unless I can see the lane is clear in front of me the other side. My heart goes out to these folks, and to the driver of the truck and the engineer of the train.
Who was driving the truck that left those people stuck on the tracks? The photos either have been cropped to leave him out, or selected to obscure him. Who is he? What does he look like? What is his name?
Trains don´t magically appear, and it can take a mile to stop them. Furthermore, in small towns the locals generally know when the scheduled freight trains come through because they know they have to get through the intersection before the train or they will be late for work waiting for it.
Sounds like the truck/float driver violated the "do not block the intersection" rule -- meaning, if you can´t go completely through the intersection, don´t enter it. Especially important rule when the other traffic is a potential freight train. Horrible outcome.
This whole story breaks my heart. I have friends and family throughout that part of Texas and I´m familiar with the veterans´ and veteran support activities in Midland. How horrible for the parade organizers, the truck driver, the victims, their families. All of it is just so very awful. Remember Midland in your prayers.
The truck in front of this one( also in the parade) was stopped by the crossarms, blocking the second truck´s exit. These folks hunt right up the valley from here, and would have been here today. A terrible tragedy for all involved... such heroic folks gone now, for good...
First truck and Trailer crossed safely over the railroad tracks. The railroad tracks are straight East/West - no curves - so one can see a train for several miles distant in either direction. With the slight rise in grade to the tracks, one cannot, even in a standard vehicle cross these tracks at this location very fast and seeing the size of the rig and the way the people were riding on the flatbed there is no way speed would have gotten them across. From all appearances it looks like the guard came down between the cab and the trailer. Apparent misjudgment by the driver. The path from the origin of the trip to the "Horseshoe Arena" was not the best selection. Other routes were available where there would have been no need to cross at this location. The 4 deaths are tragic and the trauma for the injured and other survivors will be lasting. Peace be to all.
It sounds like there were so many deadly mistakes made in this parade it´s hard to know where to start. The parade organizers should have been aware of the danger posed by a train crossing. Why weren´t there any spotters who could have easily looked up and down the tracks to see any possible oncoming trains for miles? Also like others here have said, the float driver should not have entered the crossing if it was blocked from the other side. So many morons to blame in these needless deaths.
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