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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Officials: Vets’ float crossed track after signals

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — A parade float filled with wounded veterans that was struck by a freight train had crossed onto the railroad tracks after warning signals were going off, investigators said Saturday. Four veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan were killed and 16 more people were injured when the train crashed into the flatbed truck in West Texas.

NTSB: Signals activated before float on tracks

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — Federal investigators say the warning signals at a railroad crossing in West Texas were activated before a parade float crossed the tracks in an accident that killed military veterans. National Transportation Safety Board member Mark Rosekind made that announcement at a news conference Saturday. He said the signals had been activated seven seconds before the float crossed the tracks.

West Texas town begins recovery after train crash

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — Two days after a train suddenly plowed into a parade float, killing four war veterans, the city of Midland, investigators and the victims' families began what likely will be a long, painful recovery. The truck that served as the parade float had been removed from the tracks and federal investigators were working to determine what exactly happened, including whether the parade had enough warning to clear the tracks. Investigators Saturday measured distances, photographed the site and tested equipment, trilling the warning bells periodically.

War-time instinct takes over in Texas train crash

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — With the thunderous crack of a freight train slamming into a parade float carrying his fellow war veterans, Sudip Bose went to work. A front-line physician in Iraq, Bose and other veterans instantly tended to the injured. They applied tourniquets and put pressure on wounds as their training and battlefield experience took over in the chaotic moments after the wreck at a railroad crossing in this West Texas city.

Veterans killed in train crash were war heroes

The four veterans killed when a freight train barreled into the parade float they were riding on were decorated military men who served on the front lines multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan. They survived gunshots, explosions and grenade attacks that left some with brain injuries that slurred their speech and made it difficult to walk.

Veterans killed in train crash were war heroes

The four veterans killed when a freight train barreled into the parade float they were riding on were decorated military men who served on the front lines multiple times in Iraq and Afghanistan. They survived gunshots, explosions and grenade attacks that left some with brain injuries that slurred their speech and made it difficult to walk.

NYC man sentenced to life in subway terror plot

NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City man, after reciting verses from the Quran rather than expressing remorse, was sentenced Friday to life in prison in a foiled 2009 plot that authorities labeled one of the closest calls since the 9/11 attacks. Adis Medunjanin, a 28-year-old U.S. citizen from Bosnia, had faced a mandatory life term following his conviction last year of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and several other terrorism charges stemming from the al-Qaida-sanctioned scheme hatched with two former high school classmates.

Tragedy ends Texas parade honoring war heroes

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — Cheered by a flag-waving crowd, the parade float carrying wounded military veterans was inching across the railroad tracks when the crossing gates started coming down. And then, seemingly out of nowhere, a freight train came bearing down, its horn blaring. Four veterans died in the Thursday collision, and sixteen other people were hurt. For some of the war heroes who managed to jump off the flatbed truck just in time, training and instinct kicked in: They rushed to aid their injured comrades.

Woman with child drives on Phoenix airport runway

PHOENIX (AP) — A woman driving with a small child in her car crashed through a gate at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport and drove on the runway in the latest in a series of similar mishaps across the country that have raised questions whether the nation's airports are truly secure. The woman rammed the partially open airport gate around 10 p.m. Thursday and started crossing the runway, police spokesman Sgt. Trent Crump said. Officers forced the car to stop after a few minutes and detained the driver.

West Texas rail crossing had 10 previous accidents

WASHINGTON (AP) — There were 10 previous collisions at the West Texas railroad crossing where a train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans and their families, according to Federal Railroad Administration records reviewed by The Associated Press. Five cars and five trucks have been struck by trains or rail equipment at the Garfield railroad crossing in Midland since 1979. Six drivers were injured in the accidents but there were no fatalities.

Police: 4 vets killed after train hit parade float

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — Four veterans were killed and 16 other people were injured when a train slammed into a parade float carrying the returning heroes to a banquet to honor them in West Texas, officials said Friday. The float took the full force of the train at a railroad crossing Thursday afternoon. Some people managed to jump clear as the train, with its horn blasting, bore down on the float decorated with American flags. Horrified spectators at the parade could only watch as the carnage unfolded.

Texas parade honoring war heroes ends in tragedy

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — Cheered on by a flag-waving crowd, a parade float filled with wounded veterans and their spouses was inching across a railroad track when the crossing gates began to lower and a freight train that seemed to come out of nowhere was suddenly bearing down on them, its horn blaring. Some of those seated on the float jumped off in wide-eyed terror just moments before the train — traveling at more than 60 mph — crashed into the flatbed truck with a low whoosh and a thunderous crack.

Deadly train-parade float crash in Texas probed

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — Federal officials are heading to West Texas to join investigators looking into why a freight train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans, killing four people and injuring 17 others. Witnesses described a harrowing scene Thursday afternoon as the Union Pacific locomotive bore down on the decorated flatbed truck as it tried to clear the rail crossing on its way to an honorary banquet.

NYC man to be sentenced in terror plot

NEW YORK (AP) — Prosecutors are seeking life behind bars for a New York City man convicted earlier this year of conspiring to form a three-man terror cell with two of his former high school classmates and spread death on the subways as suicide bombers — a foiled plot that authorities called one of the closest calls since the Sept. 11 attacks. Adis Medunjanin, a 28-year-old U.S. citizen from Bosnia, was convicted earlier this year of conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction, attempting to commit an act of terrorism and other terrorism charges. He is being sentenced Friday afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn.

4 dead, 17 hurt when train hits Texas vets parade

MIDLAND, Texas (AP) — A freight train slammed into a parade float carrying wounded veterans on Thursday, killing four people and injuring 17 others as the float tried to get through a West Texas railroad crossing on its way to an honorary banquet, authorities said. The train was sounding its horn and people were jumping off the decorated flatbed truck before the collision around 4:40 p.m. in Midland, according to witnesses and Union Pacific spokesman Tom Lange. A preliminary investigation indicates the crossing gate and lights were working, Lange said, though he didn't know if the train crew saw the float approaching.

Fighter jet crashes near Florida Air Force base

TYNDALL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. (AP) — An Air Force F-22 Raptor fighter jet crashed near a Florida Panhandle highway Thursday, but the pilot was able to eject safely and there were no injuries on the ground, the military said. The single-seat stealth fighter, part of a program that has been plagued with problems, went down Thursday afternoon near Tyndall Air Force Base, just south of Panama City on The Gulf of Mexico. The pilot received medical treatment and a section of Highway 98 that runs through the base was closed as rescuers responded.

With pot legal, police worry about road safety

DENVER (AP) — It's settled. Pot, at least certain amounts of it, will soon be legal under state laws in Washington and Colorado. Now, officials in both states are trying to figure out how to keep stoned drivers off the road. Colorado's measure doesn't make any changes to the state's driving-under-the-influence laws, leaving lawmakers and police to worry about its effect on road safety.

NTSB urges safety technologies be made standard

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government should require automakers to make the latest collision prevention technologies standard equipment on all new cars and trucks, a move that could reduce fatal highway accidents by more than half, federal accident investigators said Wednesday. The technologies include lane departure warning, forward collision warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic braking and electronic stability control. They are available on many cars and trucks already, although some are limited primarily to higher-end models. The National Transportation Safety Board said they should be required on all vehicles, despite the auto industry's concern that doing so could add thousands of dollars to the cost of a new car.

3 pilots flying to safety meet die in Miss. crash

JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — Three pilots flying together to a federal safety conference died when their single-engine plane faltered in midair and crashed into a house that went up in flames. The three men had just taken off from Hawkins Field Airport in Jackson on Tuesday when a witness said the Piper PA-32 began "spitting and sputtering."