New Details Released in NTSB Train Crash Documents

New Details Released in NTSB Train Crash Documents

By Geena Martinez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - It's been six months since tragedy struck the Tall City. We're learning new details from the investigation into November's deadly train accident. The crash killed four veterans and several other people were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board released documents from their investigation on Wednesday morning.

Documents released by the NTSB reveal new insight into November's "Hunt for Heroes" tragedy.

Included in those documents are nearly 100 pages of transcripts from interviews with the key people involved in the crash.

November 15 started off like any other work day for Simon "Trey" Terrazas and Nathan Scott, the conductor and engineer on board the train.

In an interview, two days after the crash, Terrazas said he saw the first truck go over the tracks but couldn't tell what it was hauling.

But as the train approached the crossing, Terrazas saw a person saying, "I saw the movement and noticed his eyes, and I recognized right then oh my gosh those are people."

The second truck began entering the crossing at Garfield and Front Street.

Scott says, "We saw the second truck pull onto the rail, realized, well, we're hitting this one."

Terrazas threw the emergency brake into gear, blared the horn and helplessly watched people jump from the float.

Scott said, "I just saw them fall in front of us and they disappeared."

Dale Hayden, the man driving the truck that was hit, was interviewed in February.

In the transcripts, Hayden said he was never notified or invited to any meetings prior to the parade.

Around 4:35 p.m. on November 15, Hayden was following the parade float in front of him. They turned left onto Garfield to cross the tracks.

Hayden said the bottom of the crossing had a large bump so he kept looking in his left mirror and moving slowly because "the people on the back were just sitting in chairs and the trailers get pretty bumpy. "

The truck driver said he then looked in his right mirror and that's when he saw the flashing lights.

When Hayden looked down the tracks he said, "I saw a train but it looked like it was just sitting there. I didn't see it moving or anything."

Seconds later, he noticed the crossing arm coming down on his trailer.

Hayden said, "That's when I looked in the mirror and just saw everybody start to jump off and then bam."

He said he doesn't recall hearing the warning bells and the sound of the train horn as it could've been confused with the truck's horn in front of him since the other driver was "blowing it the whole parade."

The train traveled more than 4,100 feet before it came to a stop.

In the end, four veterans died and several more were hurt.

The NTSB also released dozens of new photos from their investigation.

The City of Midland did not issue a permit nor was a permit application received for the "Show of Support" parade.

The documents did not name a responsible party.