Attorneys, Railroad Officials Reach Agreement in Train Crash Case

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - Attorneys for the veterans injured in last month's train tragedy are making progress with Union Pacific.

After filing an injunction with the court, attorneys for the victims reached an agreement with railroad officials to conduct inspections and tests of the track and signal systems later this month.

"We will examine the signal box and its internal components," attorney Kevin Glasheen said. "We will examine the signal box circuit plans."

Glasheen said the locomotive and it's horn will be tested in Fort Worth to determine if standards were met.

Smith Industries, who owns the big rig involved in the accident, also agreed to have the truck inspected in Midland by expert witnesses.

"We want to identify any potential issue in the case," Glasheen said.

He said the inspections are vital in helping them figure out what led up to the crash.

"We're anxious to see the crossing because clearly the lights and gates did not function as designed," Glasheen said. "We can determine whether the signal was a producing cause of the accident."

Attorneys have argued that there should've been at least 30 seconds of warning time for this type of crossing.

NTSB investigators said there was just 20 seconds of warning before impact.

Meanwhile, their client list continues to grow.

Lawyers will add at least four more veterans and their families to the case next week.

"These folks all had injuries and we anticipate adding one of the wrongful death claims," Glasheen said.

The inspections and tests on the gates and warning systems and the truck will begin on December 17th.

The locomotive and horn tests will take place the following day.