Dallas/Midland, TX (AP) - Federal officials are heading to West Texas to join investigators looking into why a freight train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans, killing four and injuring 17 others.
Witnesses described a harrowing scene Thursday as the Union Pacific locomotive bore down on a decorated flatbed truck as it tried to clear the rail crossing on its way to an honorary banquet.
The train was sounding its horn and people on the flatbed truck, mostly wounded veterans and their spouses, scrambled to jump off before the collision in Midland, according to witnesses and Union Pacific spokesman Tom Lange.
A preliminary investigation indicates the crossing gate and lights were working, Lange said, though he did not know if the train crew saw the float.
Copyright Associate Press 2012