No charges against driver of float on which 4 killed
Four veterans were killed when Dale Hayden’s vehicle was hit by a train.
Officials wouldn’t say Friday why they won’t pursue criminal charges against the driver of a parade float that collided with a train in Midland, killing four military veterans.
City spokeswoman Sara Higgins said the police report isn’t finished but that investigators “wanted to get it out” that Midland resident Dale Andrew Hayden, 50, won’t be charged. She said the reasons would be explained in the completed report. It is expected to be done in the next week. The report will then go to the district attorney, Higgins said.
Hayden was driving a flatbed truck carrying wounded veterans and their wives in a Nov. 15 parade when it was hit by a Union Pacific train traveling 62 mph. The National Transportation Safety Board says Hayden ventured onto the track after the warning signals had started flashing and before the arms had descended.
The NTSB said the device was activated within 20 seconds of the train’s arrival, the minimum standard required by federal regulations. However, Texas Department of Transportation documents made public last month indicate that the device was designed to activate at 30 seconds.
Midland County prosecutor Steve Stallings said the district attorney’s office would review the report and then make a decision on potential charges.
“We do it all the time,” Stallings said of cases in which police don’t pursue charges but the district attorney decides otherwise. “If it establishes someone is criminally culpable, we’ll present it to a grand jury. If we believe that offense is a felony, sure we will.”
Hayden’s attorney, Hal Brockett, did not immediately return a call seeking comment Friday.
police chief media use, other than prohibiting personal use.
Garza is in jail with bail set at $15,000, Acevedo said.
Catherine Stouffer, flanked by children Shannon, 17, and Shane, 12, watches as the casket of her husband, Marine Chief Warrant Officer 3 Gary L. Stouffer, is carried Friday at Arlington National Cemetery. Stouffer, 37, was killed Nov. 15.