A Veteran’s Day parade honoring our nation’s heroes turned tragic as four veterans were killed when a train came barreling into the parade float they were riding on. WFMY reports that three of the men, all decorated military men who had served in the war zones of Iraq and Afghanistan, were from North Carolina.
The parade float was carrying wounded veterans and their wives. As the float was moving across railroad tracks, the crossing gates suddenly came down and a freight train came speeding out of nowhere. Killed in the accident were Army Sgt. Maj. Lawrence Boivin, 47, and Army Sgt. Maj. William Lubbers, 43, both from Fayetteville; Marine Chief Warrant Officer 3 Gary Stouffer, 37, of Hubert, Onslow County and Sgt. Joshua Michael, 34, of Amarillo, TX. Sgt. Michael pushed his wife to safety just before the train, which was traveling at 60 mph, slammed into the float. Sixteen other people were injured.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the accident and will reference videos taken from cameras mounted on the front of the train and a sheriff’s car that was following the float. The NTSB will also be checking to see if the crossing gates and other required protective measures were all up to date.
The North Carolina Injury Lawyer Perspective:
How tragic that these men who survived battle after battle in the Middle East and made it home to their loved ones were killed at an event honoring their heroism. The results of the NTSB investigation will hopefully be able to answer how this could have happened, but for the families, no investigation will ever be able to answer the question why it happened.
All the families of those men killed, as well as the other victims were seriously injured, should contact an attorney to find out what kind of civil action can be brought forward to compensate for their pain and loss.
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