Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midland,TX

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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby Gadfly » Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:40 pm

ExCon90 wrote:There was a news report the other day that the driver was a 30-year army veteran (retired) who now works as a truck driver for the contractor who provided the trucking service -- apparently devastated by what happened.


Influenced by what I saw during my RR career, I never, never, never drive up onto a crossing unless the way is clear. If I even THINK there's a possibility that traffic may stop at a light or sign, I always stop short of the RoW. You'd be surprised at how many people will blow their horn at me to move up. I won't do it! I told one fella, the road is CLEAR on the other side (except for the possibility of a train, and to go right around me: I wasn't budging until I got a "clear" from the traffic ahead.
He wanted to 'road rage' me, but I glared at him while he muttered under his breath..


In 998.99999999 % of the crossing incidents, it is NOT the railroad's fault! While I sympathize with the victims, they shouldn't collect one red CENT for their own stupid mistakes!!!! But you watch, UP will end up shelling out $$$$ because of this. I hope NOT!


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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby ExCon90 » Tue Nov 27, 2012 4:57 pm

Especially with a local jury ...
I think it's part of the motor vehicle code in most states that it's illegal to move onto a crossing unless there is enough room for your vehicle on the far side of the crossing -- if there isn't room for you on the far side, stay on the near side until there is. There was a bad collision on the UP Northwest Line (Arlington Heights?) some years ago caused by a school-bus driver who stopped behind traffic waiting at a traffic light with the rear of the bus fouling the tracks, resulting in the deaths of several high-school students sitting in the rear of the bus when a commuter train came through. Naturally the authorities dealt with the problem by imposing a speed limit for commuter trains at the crossing --I don't know whether it's still in effect.
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby Gadfly » Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:05 pm

And I see the "victims"/veterans are suing the "villainous" railroad citing a variety of bull**** reasons for their "transgressions". Much as I sympathize with those who suffered loss, I hope they don't get one red cent from UP! It is the driver of the truck that is at fault here, not UP! :(
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby JimBoylan » Thu Nov 29, 2012 12:52 pm

Speaking of the truck driver of the float trailer, was he able to jump clear before the crash?
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby Ocala Mike » Thu Nov 29, 2012 1:38 pm

I don't think he had to. His cab was well clear of the float which was "fouling" the track.
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby Mike Doughney » Wed Dec 05, 2012 5:37 pm

New article on this incident, by way of the Los Angeles Times.

http://www.latimes.com/news/nation/nati ... 7652.story

Driver in Texas veterans train tragedy has not yet talked to NTSB

By Matt Pearce

2:07 PM PST, December 5, 2012

Three weeks after a train crashed into a parade float filled with wounded veterans in Midland, Texas, crash investigators still haven't interviewed the man who drove the truck onto the railroad tracks.

The detail was included in the National Transportation Safety Board's preliminary report, released Wednesday, into the crash that killed four veterans and seriously wounded five other people.

The report -- an early step in an NTSB investigation that is expected to last 12 to 18 months -- offered little more than a recapitulation of basic figures that, as of now, read like a physics-class word problem filled with facts but little human color or motive: An 84-car Union Pacific freight train headed east at 62 mph hit a 24-passenger tractor-trailer moving across the tracks at 5 mph; the collision pushed the trailer 30 feet and the train came to a halt almost a mile after hitting the emergency brakes....

Not included in the preliminary report were the human narratives and interviews that the NTSB uses to eventually determine the probable cause of a given crash and the combination of events that allow a catastrophe to happen.
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby ctclark1 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 1:28 am

Of course they are... Lets get every cent possible even from those not responsible...

Lawyers for four of the victims have sued UP, saying it and the driver's employer were negligent.


From: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_ ... 093577.php
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby ExCon90 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:03 pm

I think that's standard practice in such cases -- the lawyers are probably afraid of being sued by their own client if they don't go after everybody in sight.
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby JimBoylan » Thu Dec 20, 2012 7:44 pm

The article at this link:
http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_ ... 046595.php
includes details of the Midland County sheriff's officers' coverup and evidence tampering. Did they mislead the truck driver into thinking it was safe to proceed onto the tracks?
Another witness, Joe Cobarobio, 39, said he was filming the parade from just outside Moore's shop when he saw the crossing arm come down on the float. Then he heard the train's horn, seconds before the collision.
“I waved at the first float, and they waved back. Then, I heard the bells and saw the lights come on, and then the guard rail came down,” Cobarobio said. “I thought, ‘Oh no, this is a big mistake.' They all scrambled to get out of the way, but the people were tripping over the straps that were used to strap the chairs down. It was pandemonium.”
He continued to film, he said, because veterans and other witnesses were providing medical attention. After several minutes, he got into a scuffle with Midland County sheriff's officers and was arrested for interfering with the duties of a public servant.
The memory card from his camera was confiscated, he said, and his camera was returned, but he left it in the patrol car.
As he was being driven away from the scene in a patrol car, Cobarobio said he saw the first ambulance arrive.
Cobarobio, who spent the night in jail, was released and the charges against him dropped. He said he still wants to know why the collision occurred.
“I just want to know what actually happened,” he said, echoing the puzzlement on the minds of many Midland residents and visitors. “Two seconds later, and the train would have missed the tractor-trailer completely.”
Read more: http://www.mysanantonio.com/news/local_ ... z2Fdu3Dsxf
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby ctclark1 » Thu Dec 20, 2012 8:55 pm

My comment partially comes from the mentality of "Let's sue everybody for every penny they've got!"... I'm not a lawyer so I'm sure there's some strategy there (statute of limitations or something, maybe they have to get their intent in early on?) but to me it seems like the lawsuit shouldn't happen until the investigation is complete, and honestly the lawyer should be researching things and informing their clients that it is likely a frivolous lawsuit as there is likely no fault on the part of UP...

But that's my disgust with the entire legal system of today, so I'll shut up now.

On the other side of the legal coin, it appears that cops legally need a subpoena in order to confiscate footage of an incident... They should've instead asked for his information if they felt they really needed it.

I wonder what that memory card that was confiscated would actually show and if they did in fact turn it over to the proper authorities (ie, the NTSB) or if they destroyed it because they were afraid it might show something they didn't want getting out... That's someone who should be contacting a lawyer over the confiscation, and then ensuring that a copy of the footage got turned over to the NTSB...

Anyway, back to the proper discussion here.
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby Ham40PH » Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:06 pm

No the lawyer is an scum bag who contacted the victims. He said they wanted to make it clear that they didn't want to go after the town or parade organizers. This is trying to profit off tragedy.
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby Gadfly » Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:46 am

Ham40PH wrote:No the lawyer is an scum bag who contacted the victims. He said they wanted to make it clear that they didn't want to go after the town or parade organizers. This is trying to profit off tragedy.


The fault is still the driver's and the employers' who hired him. If there had been a signal failure, or the gates did not deploy, then UP might be at fault. What is being ignored here (and I've said it all along) is: IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE DRIVER TO STOP, LOOK, AND LISTEN, and not only that, to see that there is no obstruction ahead (traffic) before fouling the crossing. Had he done that, he would have proceeded on across in plenty of time, and "beat" the gates down. But, no, (if the stories are true), he was in a parade, caught up in the excitement of the activity, and anxious to keep his place in the line (keep up), he fouled the crossing where the parade stopped for a moment, "hemming" him in on the crossing. Now, people feel sorry for the "poor, old driver", and think UP has deep pockets and should pay millions for someone else's stupidity. NEVER, NEVER stop on a railroad crossing. "Expect movement on any track, at any time, from any direction" goes the Rule. ALWAYS assume that a train WILL come, and make SURE you can get across as rapidly as possible. Tarry for NO man!

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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby JimBoylan » Wed May 22, 2013 3:42 pm

This excerpt from an Associated Press article sheds more light on the accident, and might also explain where some runaway train horns go:
Hayden was driving the second of two parade trucks that day. He said the first truck had a loud train-like horn that made it difficult to tell if the train was blowing its horn.
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby Backshophoss » Wed May 22, 2013 8:43 pm

At most Chrome shops and larger truck stops will sell horns that are close to what is mounted on a locomotive.
There are some trucks that have a real locomotive horn installed,but have a 2nd compressor and air tanks to
make the horn work!
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Re: Veterans' Day float hit by Union Pacific train in Midlan

Postby Gadfly » Fri May 24, 2013 11:35 am

JimBoylan wrote:This excerpt from an Associated Press article sheds more light on the accident, and might also explain where some runaway train horns go:
Hayden was driving the second of two parade trucks that day. He said the first truck had a loud train-like horn that made it difficult to tell if the train was blowing its horn.



It makes no difference. It is STILL a matter for placing the blame on someone ELSE than the one who IS responsible. Maybe we should go back to Nathan WHISTLES instead of horns to distinguish between a TRUCK and a TRAIN! :( And then, they'd just find something else to blame it on. A prudent driver will see the way is clear and not place himself in a place where a collision is likely. This blame-shifting is BULL****!

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