posted on Nov, 5 2013 @ 09:14 PM
Bad planning cited in fatal Midland parade crash
WASHINGTON - The National Transportation Safety Board cited bad planning by city and parade officials as the probable cause of last November's deadly
collision of a freight train and a veterans' parade float in Midland.
Having already been ushered through several red lights by police in the 34 minutes since the parade began, the driver of the float thought nothing of
continuing the procession across the tracks, despite the red lights at the signal. The float had nearly cleared the tracks when the freight train
slammed into its back corner at 62 mph.
At the time, the driver missed many of the early warnings of the oncoming train because of several factors, one being that the float in front of him
had been blowing a train whistle throughout the parade.
Rather than assigning blame to the driver of the float or to the railroad, the board found that it was in fact poor planning, a "lack of traffic
signal cues" alerting law enforcement to an approaching train and the driver's expectation of police protection that had led the man and his
passengers into danger.
The board determined that "the probable cause of this collision was the failure of the city of Midland and the parade organizer, 'Show of Support,
Military Hunt, Inc.,' to identify and mitigate the risks associated with routing a parade through a highway-railroad grade crossing."
The city of Midland issued a statement, saying it has substantially changed the planning process for such events, but "more work" remains to be
Using a train horn in the parade.
Just a number of mistakes that added up to disaster.