A flag is left at the scene of an accident where four veterans were killed and 16 other people were injured when a train slammed into a parade float carrying the returning heroes to a banquet last Thursday in Midland, Texas on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012. Federal investigators were trying to determine whether the two-float parade had been given enough warning to clear the tracks. (AP Photo/Juan Carlos Llorca)
MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — A harrowing train crash in West Texas that killed four war veterans unfolded in a rapid-fire 20 seconds — from the time the crossing bells and lights activated to the collision.
The National Transportation Safety Board released a detailed timeline Saturday, pieced together from video images on the train, a sheriff's car and the train's equivalent of a black box.
The parade was organized by a group called Show of Support. Group member Michael McKinney says the truck was donated.
According to the timeline, the truck entered the tracks after the warning lights had gone off.
The veterans and their spouses had only seconds to jump off. At the same time, the train conductor pulled the emergency brake in an attempt to come to a screeching halt.