MIDLAND, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – In November 2012, four veterans were killed when a train crashed into a parade float carrying war heroes in west Texas.
Some family members spent a very somber day placing flowers at the scene of the accident… but their biggest mission now is filing a petition to the Supreme Court of Texas asking it to reconsider their wrongful death claims.
Five years ago today, Angie Boivin says her husband saved her life at the place where she placed flowers and a wreath today.
In 2013 Angie Boivin recalled, “He pushed me and he said jump Angie, jump and that’s the last thing he said to me.”
He and three other veterans were killed in Midland when a Union Pacific train slammed into their parade float.
In 2014 attorney Bob Potroff told the I-Team, “This railroad knew it had a problem at its crossing and has done everything in its power to cover that up.”
The I-team followed the story as family members and their lawyers spent years fighting the courts, trying to prove the train did not give enough warning before racing through the intersection.
As we investigated, the I-team learned the crossing was designed to give a 30-second warning and it only gave 20.4 seconds.
We also obtained documents showing Union Pacific had detected a “frequency issue” meaning there could be problems detecting trains months before this accident.
In a 2013 interview, attorney Steve Malouf told us, “Had Union Pacific undertaken to fix the problem with the installation these veterans would not have die.”
But the lower courts have all dismissed these negligence claims.
Now the survivors are asking the state’s highest court to review those decisions on the same day they made a very difficult return to the scene.
Today Angie Boivin said, “Especially on Veteran’s Day, it is very difficult because normally he’d be with us and we’d get to celebrate his honor, his courage and his sacrifice together.
Union Pacific sent us the following statement:
“Union Pacific recognizes the impact of this tragic incident on the victims, their families and the community. We continue to assert that Union Pacific was not at fault, a position supported by the findings and rulings of the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), local and appellate courts. We are hopeful the Texas State Supreme Court will rule in a similar fashion. ”
Union Pacific Railroad
Director – Corporate Relations and Media