The families of two veterans killed when a train struck a parade float in Texas have filed a wrongful death lawsuit this week, according to court documents.
The lawsuit, which was filed in Midland County District Court, lists Union Pacific Railroad and Smith Industries Inc., the company that owned the truck which served as a parade float, as defendants.
The families of the two veterans killed in the crash allege that the railroad’s train crossing signal failed to provide adequate warning of an approaching train.
In 2006, the speed limit for trains at the crossing was increased from 45 mph to 70 mph, but the railroad never increased the crossing censors to provide a visible and audible warning of an oncoming train at 4,000 feet. The censors were still set to warn of an approaching train at 1,600 feet – a difference of 10 seconds.
Had their loved ones had that extra warning time, they may have been able to flee in time to avoid the crash, the lawsuit claims.
The train was traveling at 62 mph when it entered the crossing area and struck the parade float.
Several lawsuits have been filed against Union Pacific by other veterans injured in the crash.