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National Transportation Safety Board

Widows: Railroad knew of defect before veterans killed

Intensive care nurse Angie Boivin had just tended to a woman whose leg was severed near the hip when she saw her husband Larry lying nearby under an American flag blanket. She says that she was with him when he took his last breath.

Larry Boivin earned a Purple Heart in Iraq in 2004, but he didn't survive a Union Pacific freight train that slammed into the flat-bed trailer he and other veterans were riding on during a 2012 parade in Midland, Texas. Three other veterans died and more than a dozen people were injured in the crash three years ago this month.

"They used that (train) as a weapon to kill my husband," Angie Boivin said.

She and 42 other survivors...