(MIDLAND, Texas) — The freight train that struck a flatbed truck full of wounded veterans was going 62 miles per hour before the crash and applied its emergency break, according to preliminary details released by the National Transportation Safety Board.
It is not yet clear when the train conductor applied the break, but the question is one of dozens the board hopes to answer in the coming weeks after five veterans died in the crash Thursday in Midland, Texas, and four remain hospitalized, including a spouse in critical condition.
“Our mission is to determine probable cause, which is to determine not just what happened but why,” NTSB Board Member Mark Rosekind said. “And that why is critical for us to determine what safety recommendation need to be issued so this does not happen again.”
Investigators will be on scene in Midland for seven to 10 days collecting evidence to bring to Washington, D.C., for processing. They will examine both vehicles and the gates that should have blocked the tracks. They will also contact all drivers, victims and witnesses.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Chuck Johnston, CNN Newswire
Ray Sanchez, CNN Newswire