Four military veterans were killed and 17 other people were injured when the train crashed into a Smith Industries flatbed trailer being used as a Show of Support parade float, near the intersection of West Front Street and South Garfield Street around 4:35 PM on November 15th.
The parade float was carrying 12 veterans, their 12 wives and two escorts from the Doubletree by Hilton hotel to the Midland County Horseshoe Arena for the Show of Support banquet before tragedy struck.
Lawyers representing the victims -- including the Glasheen, Valles and Inderman L.L.P. firm and acclaimed attorney Bob Pottroff -- have sued Union Pacific and Smith Industries for negligence.
While the National Transportation Safety Board (N.T.S.B.) found that all warning systems and signals were working at the railroad crossing at the time of the crash, lawyers for the victims claim that Union Pacific failed to give a 30 second warning time.
TXDOT officials reportedly told lawyers for the victims that the Garfield Street railroad crossing necessitated a 30 second warning time, instead of the standard 20 second warning time.
The locomotive involved in the crash reportedly gave a 20 second warning.
Lawyers believe an additional 10 seconds of warning time would have saved lives in the incident.
Now, the Glasheen, Valles and Inderman L.L.P. firm has reached an agreement with Union Pacific to inspect the track and signal system at the site of the fatal crash.
The inspection will take place near the intersection of South Garfield Street and West Front Street in Midland on December 17th.
The firm will then inspect the locomotive involved in the crash -- as well as its horn -- in Fort Worth on December 18th.
The firm also reached an agreement with Smith Industries to look at the flatbed trailer and truck that the train hit on December 17th.