Amanda Guerra, NBC 5 News
Four US military veterans died when train struck parade float. 16 others injured. NTSB said the truck driver pulling the float had warning.
The funderal for a miiltary veteran killed when a train hit his parade float will be held on Saturday.
The Amarillo Globe-News newspaper reports services for Army Sgt. Joshua Michael will be held at Cornerstone Church of Amarillo. The father of two joined the Army shortly after the September 11, 2001 terror attacks. He had been deployed to Iraq twice. Sgt. Michael shoved his wife from the float before being hit by the train. She survived the wreck.
On Saturday, Federal investigators reported the warning signals at a railroad crossing in Midland were activated before a parade float crossed the tracks in an accident that killed military veterans.
National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind made that announcement at a news conference Saturday. He said the signals had been activated seven seconds before the float crossed the tracks.
Sgt. Michael and three other veterans were killed Thursday when a freight train slammed into the parade float. Sixteen people were injured.
Rosekind said the NTSB reconstructed the accident using video cameras from the train and a sheriff's vehicle.
He said the train started sounding its horn nine seconds before it hit the float. The train engineer also used the emergency brake five second before the crash.
The NTSB said 20 seconds before the collision, bells and lights activated on the crossing. 13 seconds before the crash happened, the gates started to descend. Then, 12 seconds prior, the front of the truck crossed in front of the train.
The four veterans killed were Sgt. Major Gary Stouffer, Sgt. Major Lawrence Boivin, Army Sgt. Joshua Michael and Army Sgt. Major William Lubbers.
On Saturday, 300 people in Midland attended a candlelight vigil honoring the victims.