(Midland, Texas – December 11, 2012)
The police report produced by the Midland, TX Police Dept. in regard to the November 15 wounded veterans “Show of Support” parade tragedy when four wounded veterans were killed and another 16 injured as a Union Pacific freight train traveling at 62 mph struck a flatbed semi-trailer truck donated by Smith Industries and driven by Dale Andrew Hayden, 50, of Midland, who is both a veteran of Middle East deployment and a truck driver employed by Smith Industries, at the Garfield Street crossing of UP railroad tracks, has been passed on to the Midland County District Attorney’s staff after MPD declined to charge the truck driver for any of his actions that day.
Midland city officials had promised an explanation as to why no charges were filed, but such was still forthcoming as the report was handed off for consideration for filing of charges by County Prosecutor Steve Stallings.
Earlier, a preliminary report on the horrible accident was released by the National Transportation Safety Board, indicating that the train was being operated by a 35-year-old locomotive engineer and a 27-year-old conductor. Neither was named in the NTSB report, but the MPD report finally identified them as Simon Ferrel Terrazas, Jr, the engineer, and Nathan Scott, 27, the conductor, both of whom work out of UP’s terminal in Pecos, TX.
In other Midland wounded warriors parade train tragedy news, Midland merchant Homer Ellinger of Petroscribe has not given up in his hopes to place the five-foot-high, four-foot-wide granite marker he created and hoped to donate to honor those who were killed and injured in the accident after his plan to place the memorial at or near the scene of the collision was rejected. Officials ruled that the monolith could not be placed on private property at the crossing.
A flood of phone calls from supporters of his project have both praised his efforts as well as suggested alternative sites for the stone.
Meanwhile, Ellinger is pursuing a second project: individual markers for each of the families involved in the tragedy.