Saturday, November 17, 2012

Video shows truck driver ignored warning lights

Investigators determine driver at fault

Midland – A semi-truck driver pulling a parade float loaded with two dozen wounded veterans ignored warning bells, lights and a 4-second blast of the locomotive's horn just prior to a deadly collision that claimed 4 lives.

Investigators for the National Traffic Safety Board relied on two video recordings and a locomotive event recorder to determine the chronology of the tragic event, which killed 4 and injured many others on their way to a banquet honoring wounded veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.

Twenty seconds prior to the collision, bells and lights at the grade crossing in an industrial district began to sound.

Thirteen seconds prior to impact, the crossing gates begin to descend.

Twelve seconds prior to the wreck, the front of the Frieghtliner conventional semi-tractor crosses the rail of the Union Pacific road, and at 9 seconds prior to the impact, the engineer blows the unit's air horn for 4 seconds.

Seven seconds before the collision, the crossing gates come all the way down and strike the float, video shows.

Five seconds previous to the impact, the engineer applies the emergency brakes.

Seventy-five seconds later, the train comes to a complete stop.

The next NTSB news conference will take place at 4:30 p.m. Sunday at the Hilton in Odessa.

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