Skip to Main Content
Railroad News

Last of NTSB Investigators Depart Site of Midland

By Pottroff & Karlin LLC |

(Midland, Texas – November 27, 2012)

The last of the throng of National Transportation Safety Board personnel investigating the November 15 Midland, TX parade train accident tragedy that killed four wounded vets and injured 16 more veterans and their spouses when a Union Pacific freight train going 62 mph plowed into the second of two floats carrying the wounded warriors and their wives, departed Midland Tuesday after completing the on-site portion of the investigation, a phase NTSB Spokesman Peter Knudson referred to as “just the tip of the iceberg.”

The federal agency will issue a preliminary factual report within about 10 business days, but the full report will probably take six months to a year to complete and release.

Still a key piece missing from the NTSB’s on-site data collection in Midland is the interview with the man who was the driver of the second float, a semi-trailer flatbed carrying a dozen wounded vets and their wives. “The driver has not at this point been ready to meet with our investigators,” reported Knudson on Tuesday. He added that an NTSB investigator, probably Robert Accetta who works out of Houston, TX and is the lead investigator for the Midland train tragedy case, will return to Midland once an interview with the truck driver is arranged.

News media requests, such as the one made by the Odessa American, of an interview of the driver’s attorney, Hal Brockett of Midland, have yet to receive a response. However, Brockett has said in the past that the driver was under the care of a physician.

Dallas-based Attorney Douglas Fletcher, who represents Smith Industries of Midland, which both employs the driver and donated use of the semi-trailer flatbed truck for the “Show of Support/Hunt for Heroes” parade, had not yet responded to the American’s request for an interview Tuesday.

At the same time, although the NTSB was able to interview them, the locomotive engineer and conductor involved in the Midland train tragedy remain unidentified as Union Pacific keeps them unavailable for media or public scrutiny.


Railroad News


Train crash cases are unique and complex with many different potential pitfalls, such as federal preemption. Anytime I get hired or even get a call from a train crash victim, my very first call is to Nathan’s firm. Nathan’s knowledge and experience in handling and trying cases against these litigation savvy railroad companies gives me the confidence to know that the clients and cases I refer to him are getting the best of the best.

James Perrin Lubbock, Texas

I have had the opportunity to work as co-counsel with Nathan on several railroad crossing accidents cases. In each case, Nathan always possessed an incredible knowledge of the law and the facts, possessed a great talent for aggressive - strategic legal planning and trial tactics while, at the same time, displaying great skill as an effective negotiator. I would recommend him to anyone without hesitation.

Scott McCluen Harriman, Tennessee

Nathan Karlin has my strongest endorsement in the field of railroad crossing cases and personal injury law. I had the pleasure of working with Nathan in a complex railroad personal injury case. I was impressed by Nathan’s knowledge, his work ethic, and his dedication to the client. I look forward to working with Nathan on future injury matters. I am also aware firsthand that he has obtained excellent trial and settlement results in numerous cases involving members of the public harmed by railroad companies.

Joseph M. Miller Mandeville, Louisiana

Nathan is a warrior fighting the railroads. As a fellow personal injury lawyer, I have constantly been impressed with his depth of knowledge and his capabilities from case to case. I’d take him into battle with me any day against the biggest railroads and insurance companies on the planet.

Jon C. Clark Austin, Texas

Bob Pottroff has fought for the victims of the railroads’ callous disregard for safety more than any other attorney that I know. I should know because I am currently Chair-elect of the Railroad Section of ATLA.

Robert Schuetze Boulder, Colorado

Mr. Pottroff has shaken the rail industry to its very roots. Settlements are now more common as a result of the way he has exposed the industry’s wrongdoing.

Mike Easley Arkansas

Bob Pottroff’s work in railroad safety law is unmatched and he has been the source of great advice and phenomenal creativity.

Roger Brown Jefferson City, Missouri

In addition to his substantive contributions to railroad grade crossing safety, I have personally observed his untiring efforts and contributions to improving the integrity of the legal system.

Elizabeth Hardy Lake Charles, Louisiana

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8