City of Midland officials say that they never received a permit application from the Show of Support organization for the parade, which was slated to take military veterans who had been injured in combat from the Doubletree by Hilton hotel in downtown Midland to the Midland County Horseshoe Arena on November 15th.
Interim Midland Public Information Officer Ryan Stout released the following statement Tuesday afternoon: "The City of Midland did not issue a permit nor did the city receive a permit application from the Show of Support organization."
The Midland Code of Ordinances "10.1.2 - Permit required for parades and processions" was written in 1953. It states: "No procession, excepting the forces of the United States Army or Navy, the military forces of this state, and the forces of the police and fire departments, shall occupy, march or proceed along any street except in accordance with a permit issued by the chief of police and such other regulations as are set forth in this Title which may apply. The above does not apply to funeral processions."
A Union Pacific freight train crashed into the second flatbed trailer that was carrying 12 military veterans, 12 spouses and 2 escorts as the float crossed the railroad tracks near the intersection of West Garfield Street and South Garfield Street around 4:35 PM on November 15th -- killing 4 military veterans and injuring 17 other people.
The veterans were supposed to be honored with a special banquet at the Midland County Horseshoe Arena, but the banquet was understandably canceled in light of the tragedy.
Attorneys hired by victims of the train crash say the lack of a permit for the parade doesn't factor prominently into any potential legal action they might file.
"I don't think anyone got hurt by a permit," attorney Bob Pottroff told Big 2. "It was a truck and a train. It would be different if this turned out to be an unauthorized event, but it's my understanding that the police were involved and city officials were in the parade."
The City of Midland says it won't comment further on the parade not having a permit, since an investigation into the tragedy is ongoing.