Honorable Deborah Hersman, NTSB Board Member

Chairman Deborah A.P. Hersman
National Transportation Safety Board
Closing Remarks
Washington, DC - November 5, 2013
Highway Accident Report - Highway-Railroad Grade Crossing Collision in
Midland, Texas, November 15, 2012


I want to thank my fellow Board members for their participation today.

I'd also like to recognize the outstanding efforts of the NTSB staff from the Offices of Highway Safety, Rail, Pipeline and Hazardous Material and Research and Engineering, particularly Robert Accetta, the Investigator-in-Charge. We had requested that you complete this investigation prior to the first anniversary of the crash; you and your team stayed on course and produced an outstanding report, even with the recent government shutdown occurring during a critical phase of work.

Almost a year ago, we sent a team to investigate what was truly a tragic event. It is our sincere hope that the recommendations we made here today will help safeguard future events and the joy they provide. It doesn't matter whether we're talking about the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade or a small community event, everyone, participants and spectators alike, deserve to feel safe. We feel that organizations that take the time to create a safety plan are much more likely to identify and manage potential hazards and better protect the well-being of all involved.

Next week our nation pays tribute to the brave men and women who serve in the armed forces. There will be Veterans Day parades and special events held all over the country. Let's do all we can to ensure that those continue to be occasions where service is celebrated safely.

We stand adjourned.