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(Fox News)   Don't train on my parade   (foxnews.com ) divider line
    More: Sad, Texas, Union Pacific, railroad crossing, parade float, Midland, trains, veterans, semi-trailer trucks  
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7049 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Nov 2012 at 9:50 PM (3 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-11-17 06:41:15 PM  
1 vote:
From the NTSB on Twitter:

NTSB @NTSB
Texas grade crossing update: Information from 3 recorders (2 video and one locomotive event recorder) revealed the following information.

20 secs prior to the collision: bells and lights activated on grade crossing warning system.
13 secs prior: the gates start to descend.
12 secs prior: the front of the accident truck crosses the north rail.
9 secs prior: train engineer sounds the train horn for four seconds.
7 secs prior: crossing gates come down and strike the float.
5 secs prior: engineer activates train emergency brakes.
75 seconds after brakes are applied the train comes to a stop.

Train engineer and conductor were interviewed today. No anomalies found with either train or track.
2012-11-16 06:24:50 PM  
1 vote:

Kyosuke:

There had been some mile-wide power outages around town shortly before the parade began. In fact, the venue itself was dark for over an hour late in the afternoon. While it's entirely possible that the crossing gates at that crossing were not fully operational, I don't consider that a factor here.

I doubt very many ever heard the train coming. There was a marching band playing, and the parade included over two dozen bikers (LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES?) and many patrol cars running their sirens. Apparently the truck driver saw the train (too late) but was unable to move his truck as there was another float directly in front of him. Some of those on the float saw the train and jumped off in time, but as had been mentioned many of the soldiers were physically unable to move fast enough. Likely the truck driver was pulling the hell out of that air horn, but few would realize that he wasn't joining in the festive noisemaking by that point.

As a truck driver myself, I place the blame solely on the driver who pulled his load halfway across the tracks with no room ahead of him for him to pull clear of the tracks immediately. There is no excuse for that in any situation, especially with a live load of this value. Sadly, the event organizers are blaming themselves, and for no good reason.


Did the parade organizers contact the railroad to advise them that the parade route would be crossing the tracks? If not - and given that the train was traveling at or near track speed, it would seem that they didn't - then they do have to shoulder a portion of the blame.

In a typical situation, once contacted, the dispatcher will issue a temporary speed restriction for all trains passing through the area during the given time period. Parades and high-speed trains do not mix, and it is up to the organizers to mitigate this risk.

It's also worth noting that grade crossings have large banks of backup batteries in case of a power outage.

/not exonerating the truck driver
2012-11-16 10:19:38 AM  
1 vote:

LoneWolf343: You mean besides have a parade cross train tracks.


If the floats don't stop on the tracks, there is zero risk. I'm pretty sure not stopping on train tracks should be common sense.

Active introvert: And why not get off the truck? They could hear the train coming. They could see the lights flashing and the gates closing so they had warning it was getting close. Why just sit there?


Many of the people on the float were missing limbs and families with children. It's not so easy for them to just book it off a parade float.

/do. not. stop. on. train. tracks. ever.
2012-11-16 05:54:36 AM  
1 vote:
I've worked the Hunt For Heroes (aka Show of Support) event since its inception over a decade ago. I was at the venue (with many of the other workers) waiting for the parade to arrive and the ceremony to begin. It's a wonderful event started by a very nice man who gains nothing from it and just wanted to do something for those soldiers who gave so much. It's a week-long event with events for the soldier's wives and families along the way. This year there were 25 honorees, all of them permanently injured while deployed in the Middle East. Today (Friday) all of those soldiers would be on a private deer hunt with the brand new very expensive rifles they had received at the ceremony.

The float itself was one of two flatbed trailers being towed by full-sized tractors (as in "18 wheelers"). Each float contained not only soldiers, but also their wives and children.

There had been some mile-wide power outages around town shortly before the parade began. In fact, the venue itself was dark for over an hour late in the afternoon. While it's entirely possible that the crossing gates at that crossing were not fully operational, I don't consider that a factor here.

I doubt very many ever heard the train coming. There was a marching band playing, and the parade included over two dozen bikers (LOUD PIPES SAVE LIVES?) and many patrol cars running their sirens. Apparently the truck driver saw the train (too late) but was unable to move his truck as there was another float directly in front of him. Some of those on the float saw the train and jumped off in time, but as had been mentioned many of the soldiers were physically unable to move fast enough. Likely the truck driver was pulling the hell out of that air horn, but few would realize that he wasn't joining in the festive noisemaking by that point.

As a truck driver myself, I place the blame solely on the driver who pulled his load halfway across the tracks with no room ahead of him for him to pull clear of the tracks immediately. There is no excuse for that in any situation, especially with a live load of this value. Sadly, the event organizers are blaming themselves, and for no good reason.

The organization's website
2012-11-16 02:37:06 AM  
1 vote:
God-farkin'-dammit! I've read two articles on this now. Are there no farkin' reporters smart enough to ask the simple question, "WTF was the vehicle doing on the tracks, especially when all signals, gates and train horns are working?!" This shiat drives me through the goddamn roof. Out here in the Bay Area every few weeks I have to listen to stupid-ass news reports about somebody being struck by CalTrain because they were on the farkin' tracks. They stop everything to investigate. I'll tell you what's farkin' wrong, the dipshiat was on the tracks. The train didn't steer for them. Get a farkin' shovel, put the parts in a bag and carry on. Fark these idiots!

Sorry! Tangent.
2012-11-15 11:27:43 PM  
1 vote:
Headline gets a meh. This train wreck gets a WTF?!?! How in the fark do you get hit by a train by surprise? Planned parade route goes across RR tracks. How high up the chain of dipshiat derp dwellers can we lay blame. ALL THE WAY TO THE PRESIDENT!
2012-11-15 10:17:07 PM  
1 vote:

Emposter: A preliminary investigation indicates the crossing gate and lights were working at the time,

So the truck ignored the lights and bell and went through the lowered gate? Who does that?



Yeah, and there's this: he didn't know if the train crew saw the float approaching.

WTF?? Shouldn't it have been the FLOAT DRIVER who was looking for the TRAIN approaching? I mean, which one can stop a little easier, you know?
2012-11-15 10:06:37 PM  
1 vote:
It's like traaaaaaaiiiiiin.... at a veteran's parade.
2012-11-15 10:05:36 PM  
1 vote:
Subby, please picture in this spot every animated applause gif in my image folder. You've earned them all.
2012-11-15 10:04:27 PM  
1 vote:

GonadtheBarbarian: How the fark does something like this even happen?


I'm just hoping that traffic didnt back up and the driver went over the tracks anyway, only to have to stop half way over, train-horn blaring and not a damn thing he can do about what's going to happen next.

Somehow that'd be worse than him simply trying to beat the train over the crossing.
2012-11-15 09:58:03 PM  
1 vote:
How the fark does something like this even happen?
2012-11-15 08:40:58 PM  
1 vote:
This is the best of the headlines.
This should go green.
/not subby.
 
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