What was supposed to be a weekend dedicated to honoring wounded Texas military veterans, turned tragic without notice. During a parade to honor the service members, a train collided with a float carrying a group of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their spouses. Unfortunately, four people passed away and at least 14 sustained injuries as a result of the devastating accident.
Since the incident, a number of lawsuits have been filed for wrongful death and spinal cord injuries on behalf of the victims. Legal claims have been issued against the train company and the company responsible for hauling the parade float.
Most recently, the train company agreed to allow testing of the warning signals, since a number of the plaintiffs believe they were defective. The floats driver should have been given 30 seconds of warning, but only had 20.
In addition to the train company, the company that operated the truck hauling apparently shares some responsibility for the accident. According to reports, the driver did not "exercise reasonable care" when he brought the passengers over the railroad crossing.
Not only did multiple people die as a result of negligence, but one man will likely have to deal with the effects of his injuries for as long as he lives. An army sergeant on the float experienced severe damage to his spinal cord when the surrounding bone fractured. He sustained the injury injured when he put his own safety at risk to protect his wife, who was also on the float. Now, the man cannot use his legs.
Life will never be the same for all those affected by this accident. The loved ones of those who died will have to deal with the emotional and financial consequences of such an untimely loss. Furthermore, the veteran who became partially paralyzed will have to learn how to do many things all over again. As such, the hope is that the forthcoming investigation into the warning signals will help the victims and their families continue the long, emotional healing process.
Source: Reuters, "Railroad will allow track, signal tests in Texas crash probe," Matthew Waller, Dec. 7, 2012