4 killed in Texas veterans parade

Discussion in 'Modern' started by Njaco, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Police ID 4 killed in Texas veterans parade - CBS News

    MIDLAND, TEXAS At least four veterans were killed and 16 other people were injured when a train slammed into a parade float carrying returning heroes to a banquet to honor them in West Texas, officials said Friday.A float decorated with American flags and carrying wounded veterans and their spouses took the full force of a train at a railroad crossing in Midland, killing at least four veterans and injuring 16 people. There were 26 people on the flatbed at the time of the accident.

    Some managed to jump clear as the train, with its horn blasting, bore down on the float decorated with American flags Thursday afternoon.

    Pam Shoemaker from Monroe, La., said she and her husband, a special operations veteran, were on the float ahead of the one that was struck. Shoemaker described how the celebration so quickly turned sour. She said her truck had just crossed the tracks and was moving slowly but never stopped. All around, the crowds lining the parade route cheered.

    "It was beautiful," she said Friday. "There were lots of people with signs. Children yelling 'thank you!' waving flags."

    Then they heard the train coming. There was no warning -- she hadn't seen or heard it until it was upon them. The Shoemakers jumped from their truck and ran toward the other one, knowing it would be hit in a matter of seconds. The crossing barriers had just started to come down, she said.

    "We started to jump off of our trailer. We saw people jumping from the other trailer and then there was the impact," Shoemaker said.

    Horrified spectators at the parade 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."

    Sudip Bose, who was a front-line physician in Iraq, said Friday that the immediate aftermath reminded him of a combat triage situation. Veterans were already tending to the wounded when he reached the crash site. Bystanders tried to help with the limited medical supplies available.

    "Instincts kicked in. They were applying tourniquets, holding pressure to the wounds," said Bose, who served in Fallujah and Baghdad and was volunteering at the parade.

    Despite their efforts, Midland city spokesman Ryan Stout said 37-year-old Sgt. Maj. Gary Stouffer and 47-year-old Sgt. Maj. Lawrence Boivin were pronounced dead at the scene. Army Sgt. Joshua Michael, 34, and Sgt. Maj. William Lubbers, 43, were pronounced dead later at Midland Memorial Hospital.

    According to CBS affiliate KOSA in Odessa, Texas , Stouffer, 37, served in the Marine Corps for 17 years in Albania, Ksovo, Afghanistan and Iraq. He was injured in Afghanistan after the vehicle he was traveling in was hit by IEDs. He had been awarded two combat action ribbons, commendation medals and campaign medals, among other awards, and was awaiting approval for the Purple Heart.

    Forty seven-year-old Boivin was with the U.S. Army for 24 years and had several tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, KOSA said. He was hit by an RPG in Iraq in 2004. For his service, he had been awarded the Silver Star, Purple Heart, Legion of Merit, Meritorious Service Medal and the Bronze Star.

    Michael, 34, was among one of the first troops to be sent to Iraq in 2003 with the U.S. Army, KOSA reported. He had been injured three times by IEDs in three different incidents in 2006.

    Lubbers, a 43-year-old Army officer, had served many of his 24 years of service in the Special Forces and was stationed in Afghanistan and Pakistan several times, according to KOSA. His arm was shattered by a bullet during his second tour in Afghanistan. He had previously received the Special Forces and Ranger Tabs, Master and Freefall Parachutist Badges, three Bronze Stars, a Purple Heart and other awards.

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  2. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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  3. Lucky13

    Lucky13 Forum Mascot

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  4. Airframes

    Airframes Benevolens Magister

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    Lost for words - just tragic.
     
  5. Thorlifter

    Thorlifter Well-Known Member

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    That's just ridiculous. If you have ever been through Midland, the terrain is as flat as a pancake, meaning it's not like this train just appeared out of nowhere. You can see for miles. Its a shame people had to die. :(
     
  6. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    From the news, the trailer pulled on the tracks after the lights had begun to flash, but was then trapped there by other vehicles in the same parade, front and rear.
     
  7. DerAdlerIstGelandet

    DerAdlerIstGelandet Der Crew Chief
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    Very tragic. Very sad when something like this happens at such an event. Tragic at any event, but this kind of event sort of hits home for me.
     
  8. Matt308

    Matt308 Glock Perfection
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    A mistake of epic proportions and likely the result of criminal negligence. If the determine alcohol or drugs were involved... :angry3:
     
  9. stona

    stona Well-Known Member

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    Here you are not supposed to proceed onto what we call a "level crossing" unless your exit from the crossing is clear. That float's exit clearly wasn't with awful and tragic consequences. If you do get stuck on the crossing the advice is no more than common sense.
    "If your vehicle breaks down or stalls on a crossing, get yourself and your passengers out of the vehicle as soon as possible."
    Steve
     
  10. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    How the frigg does this happen?
     
  11. tyrodtom

    tyrodtom Well-Known Member

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    I've been in a few parades with a mixture of floats and marching bands.
    One of the problems is keeping the procession at a steady pace so gaps don't develope, bands end up marching in place or sometimes almost running.
    Whoever planned a parade route over active railroad tracks didn't put much thought into it.
     
  12. proton45

    proton45 Member

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    It just makes me mad....it shouldn't happen.
     
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