Three of the four veterans who were killed Thursday, Nov. 15, in a West Texas crash between a train and a parade float had connections to North Carolina, according to reports.
The floats were transporting the returning veterans to a banquet being organized to recognize their service in war. Some wives also were aboard.
The three who died were:
Those dying at the accident site were Stouffer and Boivin. Lubbers passed away at Midland Memorial Hospital. In addition to these three veterans, another veteran, Army Sargent Joshua Michael, 34, also died in the crash.
Also among the injured were Lubbers’ wife Tiffany, said to be in serious condition at University Medical Center in Lubbock, Texas; and Boivin’s wife, Angie, who works as a nurse at Cape Fear Valley Medical Center.
The float, which was on top of an 18-wheel semi-truck trailer, received the total brunt of the train racing down the tracks toward the railroad crossing where it was stuck right behind another float in line ahead of it.
Boivin, who was part of Special Operations and was awarded the Silver Star and Purple Heart, was deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. Lubbers, who was with Special Forces, spent four tours of duty in Afghanistan and earned the Purple Heart and three Bronze Stars.
Stouffer was with the army in Afghanistan, Iraq, Albania and Kosovo. He suffered a traumatic brain injury in Afghanistan when an improvised explosive device exploded on his vehicle.
A total of 16 persons died in the crash with the train. A representative of Union Pacific railroad said an initial analysis of the situation showed that the lights and the crossing gate were in operating order.
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