MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — A float decorated with American flags and carrying wounded veterans and their spouses to a banquet in West Texas took the full force of a train at a railroad crossing, killing at least four people and injuring 16.
Some managed to jump clear as the train bore down Thursday afternoon, blasting its horn. Horrified spectators at the parade to honor the war heroes could only watch as the carnage unfolded.
“The train honked its horn, but the 18-wheeler could not go anywhere because of the other one (truck) being right in front of it,” said Daniel Quinonez, who was waiting in his vehicle as the parade went by. “It was a horrible accident to watch happen right in front of me. I just saw the people on the semi-truck’s trailer panic, and many started to jump off the trailer. But it was too late for many of them.”
The float was one of two flatbed tractor-trailers carrying veterans and their spouses. Police said the first truck safely crossed the tracks but that the second truck’s trailer was still on the crossing as the train approached.