In November 2012, a train wreck rocked the city of Midland, Texas. What was supposed to be a joyous event celebrating wounded veterans, instead turned into a harrowing experience, as four people were killed and 17 more were injured. In the days and months that have since followed, a quest for answers has been ongoing. Train accident attorneys have been retained, wrongful death lawsuits have been filed, and laws have even been changed. In fact, at this time, grand jury is in the process of determining if criminal charges should be filed against the driver of the parade float. While the final chapter of the Midland train accident has yet to be written, no matter the outcome, irreparable damage and destruction has already been done. Four wives lost their husbands and some children lost their fathers as a result of the crash. There is nothing that can change that. We admire these families for pursuing compensation damages against the railroad company. This is a very stressful time in their lives, and during the course of litigation, they will have to relive an event they wish they could just block out of their minds and forget. That takes a lot of guts. We also hope that this train accident serves as a teachable moment, not just for Texans, but all Americans. Though we cannot change the past, by learning from the mistakes made in the Midland train crash, we can ensure it never happens again in the future.
Timeline of Midland Train Accident Events
Nov. 15, 2012: An accident, involving a parade float carrying wounded veterans and a Union Pacific locomotive, occurs. Four people were killed and 17 others were injured. Nov. 28, 2012: The first wrongful death lawsuit against Union Pacific and Smith Industries, Inc. was filed. Dec. 7, 2012: The National Transportation Safety Board announced the grade-crossing system functioned properly, providing a 20-second warning of the train’s arrival. Midland officials also announced that the driver of the parade float would not face criminal charges. Dec 27, 2012: A second wrongful death lawsuit against Union Pacific and Smith Industries, Inc. was filed. Jan. 4, 2013: It was announced that a Midland grand jury would decide whether the driver of the parade float would face criminal charges. Jan. 23, 2013: The family of one of the deceased veterans and eight more people add their names to the wrongful death suit against Union Pacific and Smith Industries, Inc. Jan 23. 2013: Midland mayor Wes Perry announces that the city has passed two new laws in response to the fatal train accident. 1) No longer will the city manager issue permits for events that involve crossing over railroad tracks. For such events, permission must be granted by the railroad company and then shown to city officials. 2) Organizers of events that involve crossing over railroad tracks must obtain insurance to cover the event.