Tragic Thursday In The West
Posted on November 16, 2012
During a Veterans recognition parade held in Midland Texas, a flatbed tractor trailer carrying wounded veterans and their families was struck by a freight train, killing 4 and injuring 16. Pictures of the scene and story .
And now for a comment. This comment is not necessarily the opinion of Part 15.us or any member but myself.
I lived in west texas (Odessa) for 22 years. The freight train route runs through the south section of both Midland and Odessa with two runs of track for two-way train traffic.
There are crossings scattered along the entire length of the tracks that run through both cities. Some have the warning arms and lights, while others only have the rail road crossing sign.
In the past when parade routes were to cross these rail road crossings, it was always common practice for the parade organizers to coordinate with the rail road authority to ensure the safety of the parade patrons as well as coordinating with the local police and sheriff departments.
Unfortunately this time, someone dropped the ball big time.
Garfield, one of the streets that the parade route was on, crosses the tracks at an intersection. This crossing, as can be seen in the photos in the above link, does NOT have the crossing arms or flashing lights. The street that intersects with the tracks is a two lane road with the RR crossing signs.
It is highly suspicious in how this tragedy happened. What was the driver of that rig thinking, and what was the Midland police and sheriff doing during this parade? Where were they? And why was the parade scheduled to take place during a time when freight trains roll through that area like clockwork, and why on a street with no rail road blocking arms?
A lot of questions with no answers and most certainly there is fault in several areas, as well as liability.
Train accidents like this are very very rare there even with the lack of crossing warning arms and lights at many of the small two lane road crossings. But this is the FIRST time that a parade was EVER scheduled to run through one of those dangerous crossings.
I see a big ol Texas sized cow patty lawsuit on the horizon.