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Float in Texas train crash that killed veterans was donated

A candlelight vigil was held in Centennial Plaza in Midland, Texas, in honor of four veterans killed in the crash.

James Durbin/Midland Reporter-Telegram via Associated Press

A candlelight vigil was held in Centennial Plaza in Midland, Texas, in honor of four veterans killed in the crash.

MIDLAND, Texas — The truck that was used as a parade float involved a horrific train crash in West Texas that killed four US military veterans was donated for the event, organizers said Sunday.

Investigators say the truck began crossing the train tracks even though warning bells were sounding and lights were flashing.

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It was the second of two parade floats filled with wounded war veterans. The first float had cleared the tracks when the accident happened.

The National Transportation Safety Board released a timetable of the accident Saturday, based on information from cameras and data recorders.

Investigators have not identified the driver of the float. Show of Support spokesman Michael McKinney said only that the truck was donated but did not identify the owner.

Part of the investigation includes whether the group had the proper permit.

Nine seconds before the crash, the train sounded its horn, a blaring that lasted four seconds, according to board spokesman Mark Rosekind. The guardrail hit the truck, and then the engineer pulled the emergency brake, trying to bring the train that was traveling at 62 miles per hour to a screeching halt.

Some people tried to jump off the float, witnesses said. Four veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan were killed and 16 more people were injured.

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