The City Of Midland Texas Sheer Stupidity Caused The Deaths Of These 4 Wounded Warriors.  No Safety Standards For A Parade Float Or Hayride.
One- No Insurance
Two- No Permit
Three- They Used Office Chairs
Four- No Parade Route Filed
Five- Nobody Called The Train Company!
The United States Government Has Prevented Us From Saving Lives By Ignoring Our Repeated Attempts To Bring Attention To This....Including Hayrides.  

Parade Deaths Prompt Safety Recommendations for Localities

Some governments lack clear planning procedures and rules for parades. Read how localities can better prepare, along with a summary of recent parade accidents.
by | January 2, 2014

An 8-year-old boy lost his life this summer when a Fourth of July parade float driven by his father ran him over in Edmond, Okla., during the city’s annual LibertyFest event. Later that evening, a 7-year-old boy died after suffering injuries in a similar parade float accident in Annapolis, Md. Yet another fatality occurred that day in Bangor, Maine, when a fire truck in a parade hit a man driving an antique farm tractor.

While parade accidents are generally rare, the three fatal incidents underscore the potential dangers accompanying such events.

As communities across the country hold holiday parades this time of year, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is calling for localities to adopt more stringent safety measures. The agency issued several recommendations in a November report that found governments and sponsoring entities often lack adequate planning procedures and clear rules for parades.

The most notable recommendation for localities in the NTSB report, which evaluated a 2012 Veterans Day crash in Midland, Texas, calls for governments to require written safety plans as part of an event approval process. At a minimum, NTSB states, the plan should address risk mitigation and contingency planning, safety briefings, driver and vehicle screening, float safety and notifying railroads or other entities about potential hazards.

“We want to really get organizations and communities that want to do parades to think about the risks ahead of time so that they can be managed,” said Robert Molloy, deputy director of the NTSB’s Office of Highway Safety.

Some of the more common parade hazards include participants falling off floats or performers being run over. Children running out into streets to retrieve candy also pose safety risks, Molloy said.

In the Midland report, NTSB reviewed policies from a sample of nine municipalities and universities, finding wide variation in parade operating rules and procedures.

Of the nine reviewed, only the city of Dallas required event organizers to submit a route plan for approval. Most policies also didn’t address driver communication, walking support and speed limits. Two cities and two schools prohibited objects being thrown from floats, while the other five lacked such rules.

The following table, compiled in the NTSB report, summarizes parade policies for Baylor University, the Cosumnes Community Services District Fire Department (Calif.), Dallas, Colorado State University, Florida Atlantic University, Arlington (Texas), San Diego, Fremont (Calif.) and New Mexico State University:

Without clear guidelines and rules, communication can break down.

The Midland crash occurred when a Union Pacific train collided with a float carrying veterans and their wives, killing four people and injuring 12 others. NTSB identified the probable cause as the failure of the city and parade organizer, Show of Support Military Hunt, Inc., to address the risks of routing the parade through a railroad crossing.

In previous years, a city police lieutenant had placed officers at crossings to monitor trains, or he notified the railroad of the parade so it could either slow trains or temporarily stop traffic. When the police lieutenant retired before the 2012 parade, no one notified the railroad or posted officers at crossings with the specific responsibility of monitoring oncoming trains, according to the NTSB report.

“It was informally planned, so they couldn’t take into account all the possible hazards that could occur in their parade,” said Rafael Marshall, a senior project manager with NTSB.

At the time of the accident, Midland did not require organizers to notify railroads when parade routes traversed railroad crossings. NTSB also faulted the city for failing to enforce its parade ordinances by allowing the event to take place without a permit for four years.

Midland City Council later modified its parade ordinance. Now, special events with routes crossing railroad tracks must obtain permits from city council only after submitting proof of permission from railroad officials.

For events held on an annual basis, not much might change from year to year. Requiring a written safety plan reduces the likelihood that planning will become lax, Marshall said.

NTSB also requested that the National League of Cities, National Association of Counties, National Association of Towns and Townships, U.S. Conference of Mayors and International City/County Management Association encourage their members to require written safety plans as part of parade approval processes.

ICMA is currently working with NTSB to develop a list of best practices for parades.

Christina Barberot, an ICMA public policy coordinator, said most of the municipalities she is working with are prepared and have plans in place, but there is currently not much standardization specific to parade policies. She expects to publish a report in early 2014.

Recent Fatal Parade Accidents

The following map shows eight fatal parade accidents occurring in the U.S. over past three years. Incident information was compiled from news reports, so some events may not be listed.


Opening statements made in parade float/train wreck trial

Attorney argues brakes could have been applied a half-second sooner

Posted: Thursday, January 29, 2015 4:30 am

Thirty-nine inches is all that was needed in order for the wreck between a train and a parade float never to have happened.

It was revealed Wednesday during opening statements in the trial between veterans in the Nov. 15, 2012, wreck and defendant, Union Pacific, that the train hit the parade float -- carrying veterans and spouses -- at a point 39 inches away from the tail end of the float.

As Dickey Grigg, attorney for the plaintiffs, put it in his opening statement, if the train’s brakes had been applied faster -- a half-second earlier -- the Show of Support parade float would have fully passed through the Garfield Street crossing.

And from the defendant’s perspective, John Proctor, attorney for UP, said if parade float driver Dale Hayden had not slowed down in the railroad crossing, the float would have cleared.

This contrast in perspectives is what the 12-person jury heard on Wednesday, the first day of testimony. The trial in 441st District Court could last up to six weeks.

Plaintiffs’ attorneys, rather than provide a play-by-play of the crash, instead used opening statements to tell the back stories of the deceased veterans: U.S. Marine Corps Chief Warrant Officer Gary Stouffer, U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. William Lubbers and retied U.S. Army Sgt. Maj. Lawrence Boivin.

Attorney Brent Walker, representing Stouffer’s family, talked about his U.S. Marine Corps service, which began in 1995. Stouffer sustained injuries in 2009 after an IE impacted the Humvee he was in, Walker said.

For Lubbers’ story, attorney Jack Hill, representing the veteran’s widow, said Lubbers joined the U.S. Army when he was 20. In 2005, a sniper shot him in the shoulder, Hill said.

And attorney Peter Malouf, representing Boivin’s widow, said the U.S. Army veteran received a Silver Star and Purple Heart after he was injured by shrapnel and a grenade during an attack in Iraq. Boivin was assisting Marines out of the engagement zone and into a safe area during the attack, Malouf said.

These stories were told in the presence of the men’s widows -- Catherine Stouffer, Tiffanie Lubbers and Angela Boivin. The women held onto each other at times, and were visibly distraught every time their husband’s names were mentioned.

Meanwhile, UP’s attorney talked at length about the train wreck.

“A ‘perfect storm’ is what we had on Nov. 15,” Proctor said. “It was a combination of events that were totally unforeseeable.”

The “perfect storm” Proctor referred to was the factors that UP thinks led to the crash, including the Midland Police Department waving the parade floats through red lights, MPD having a lookout for the parade in 2011 but not in 2012, the Midland County Sheriff’s Office escort not having a lookout for a train and the truck drivers not adhering to “stop, look, listen” at the Garfield Street railroad crossing.

In a PowerPoint slide, Proctor listed all of the parties that were involved in the crash, telling jurors that they have to look at everyone involved in order to find out what happened on Nov. 15, 2012. The slide listed Midland Police Department, Midland County Sheriff's Office, Show of Support, Smith Industries and parade float drivers James Atchison and Dale Hayden.

One of the jury’s jobs, Proctor told the panel, is to determine what percentage of the responsibility each party had.

The trial will resume at 9 a.m. today with plaintiffs’ witnesses.

The train wreck trial is the culmination of a lawsuit that began two years ago, weeks after the Nov. 15, 2012 train crash. On Nov. 28, 2012, veterans and spouses sued Union Pacific for negligence in its operation of the Garfield Street Crossing, alleging that the warning time at the crossing was not long enough, the train speed was not appropriate and the crossing itself had mechanical defects. UP has maintained that it operated within federal regulations and its own regulations.

Most of the claims against UP were thrown out by presiding Judge James Rush in pretrial hearings weeks. Rush made partial summary judgments in favor of UP in regards to the warning time at the crossing, the train speed and the warning signal system.

It was announced on Jan. 16 that 26 of the 43 plaintiffs, including the family of deceased veteran, Army Sgt. Joshua Michael, reached a settlement with Union Pacific.

To read more from the Midland Reporter Telegram, go to

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