Driver in deadly parade float crash identified

POSTED: 12:20 AM Nov 21 2012
TX parade float crash

The driver of the parade float that was hit by a train in Texas, killing several North Carolina veterans, is a veteran himself, according to his attorney.

Dale Hayden, 50, was the driver of the float that was passing a railroad crossing, when it was hit by a train in Midland, Texas on Nov. 15, federal investigators said. The parade float was carrying wounded veterans and their spouses at the time. Four veterans were killed and 17 were injured, investigators said. Three of the four men who died were from North Carolina.

Hayden is still under doctor's care, and remains in shock from what happened, his lawyer said. Hayden is a veteran himself, who served in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday, federal investigators were back on the scene to reconstruct the crash and figure out a cause.

Gary Stouffer, 37, was killed in that wreck, investigators said. He was a chief warrant officer based at Camp Lejeune. Army Sergeant Major William Lubbers, 43, stationed at Fort Bragg, was also killed, along with retired Army Sergeant Lawrence Boivin, from Fayetteville.

The fourth service member killed was 34-year-old Army Sergeant Joshua Michael, from San Antonio, Texas, investigators said. He was credited for saving his wife and his mother-in-law, by pushing them off the float.