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Midland police won't charge truck driver in Texas train crash

December 07, 2012|By Andrew Khouri
  • Two weeks ago, the streets of Midland were lined with flags during the funeral services for Army Sgt. Joshua C. Michael, one of four veterans who died in the train collision.
Two weeks ago, the streets of Midland were lined with flags during the funeral… (Roberto Rodriguez/The…)

In the wake of last month's deadly Texas train crash, the Midland Police Department does not plan to file charges against the man who drove a parade float carrying 12 veterans and their wives onto railroad tracks, a city spokeswoman said Friday.

The Nov. 15 crash in the West Texas town killed four veterans and seriously wounded five other people. The driver, Dale Andrew Hayden, was not physically injured in the crash.

“We don’t have any plans to file against the driver,” spokeswoman Sara Higgins told the Los Angeles Times.

She said the police report on the tragedy is nearing completion. It will then be sent to the district attorney’s office.  

She could not explain why police do not plan to file charges against Hayden, but added that such information may be included in the forthcoming report. 

Midland County Assistant Dist. Atty. Steve Stallings told the Los Angeles Times that until he receives the police report, no decision can be made by his office on whether to prosecute Hayden.

Officials with the National Transportation Safety Board have previously said the truck pulling the float drove onto the tracks while warning bells rang. Witnesses said one of the crossing arms had dropped down and hit the parade float as it attempted to cross.

As of Wednesday, NTSB investigators still hadn’t interviewed Hayden.

The accident left Hayden “highly traumatized" and he has received hate mail, according to Dallas-based lawyer Douglas Fletcher, who represents Hayden's employer, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times.

Fletcher said Hayden had been placed in a VA hospital in Big Spring, Texas, within 72 hours of the crash.

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