MIDLAND, TX (AP/WITN/WECT) – One of four veterans killed after a train crashed into a parade float in Texas Thursday was from Camp Lejeune, according to WITN. Another was a soldier from Fort Bragg, and one was reportedly a defense contractor from Southern Pines.
Authorities in Midland say 16 other people were injured as the float took the full force of the train at a crossing. Some people managed to jump clear.
Police in Midland say 37-year-old Sgt. Maj. Gary Stouffer and 47-year-old Sgt. Maj. Lawrence Boivin were pronounced dead at the scene of the accident Thursday afternoon.
WITN is reporting Stouffer was from Camp Lejeune and WRAL reports Boivin was the director of support operations for K2 Solutions Inc. in Southern Pines.
Officials went on to say 34-year-old Army Sgt. Joshua Michael and 43- year-old Army Sgt. Maj. William Lubbers were pronounced dead later at Midland Memorial Hospital.
According to WRAL, Lubbers was from Fort Bragg.
WITN is reporting Stouffer had been in the Marine Corps for 17 years and had been deployed several times.
A man who had been volunteering during the parade said it was "a scene of total chaos." The volunteer, who had served as a front-line physician in Iraq, said the aftermath of the collision reminded him of the war. He says veterans immediately started treating the wounded with limited medical supplies.
A woman who was on a float ahead of the one that was hit says her float had just crossed the tracks, and was moving slowly. Pam Shoemaker says she and her husband -- a special ops veteran -- heard the train coming, and started to jump off their trailer. She says, "We saw people jumping from the other trailer, and then there was the impact."
She says the other veterans rushed to help the injured, and that her husband was able to resuscitate one person.
The head of the National Transportation Safety Board told NBC this morning that the train was equipped with a forward-facing camera, and that the video could help in the investigation of the crash.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. WECT and WITN contributed to this report.
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