NTSB Speed ​​detection factor in fatal multi-vehicle collision – CBS Pittsburgh

By: KDKA-TV News Staff

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The National Transportation Safety Board on Tuesday released its final, comprehensive report into a horrific chain reaction accident that left five people dead and 50 others injured. years ago on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.

READ MORE: State Police: Chain Reaction Starts the incident as the bus approaches the center of the tour, going up the steep embankment

The crash, on January 5, 2020, with snowfall, occurred on westbound lanes at Mount Pleasant, and involved multiple vehicles, including a motorcycle, a FedEx trailer, and a motorcycle. , two UPS tractors and a car.

The NTSB said the video recorder on the FedEx truck helped greatly with the investigation.

The recorded video allows investigators to view the sequence of events leading up to and during the impact. They also determined that there wasn’t enough data on why motorcyclists lost control in the first place and whether fatigue played a role.

However, they say speed is a factor.

Kenny Bragg, NTSB Human Performance Team President, said: “Staff noticed the motorcycle was traveling too fast on wet roads while on a descending bend. “The driver was unable to slow down on the wet road, which contributed to him losing control, leading to a chain of collisions.”


(Image source: Pennsylvania State Police)

The NTSB report shows that the bus driver had 11 years of experience behind the wheel and had a clear medical record. However, he was fined in 2019 for speeding on a turn. He also had a violation for running a stop sign. He had an accident while on duty.

He started working for the yacht manufacturing company in 2019 and was familiar with the route when the accident occurred, the NTSB noted in its report.

NTSB investigators found the motorized bus traveling 77 mph when the driver lost control, veered off the right curb, crashed into an embankment and then landed back on the damaged highway. tilted. It blocks both Westbound lanes and Turnpike’s shoulder.


(Source: NTSB)

It moves around a bend at night in light snow.

The photos in the report show the speeding bus of the FedEx truck that would eventually hit it. The full impact of the collision left 5 people dead and 50 others injured.

The report showed that the driver of the FedEx tractor-trailer, identified as Brandon Stowers of California, was able to slow down before hitting the overturned bus.

“He leans forward when driving so he can see deer on the road faster. As he crossed the bend, he saw a ‘black wall’ across the street, but didn’t immediately know what it was. He applied the brakes,” the report said.

According to reports, the FedEx truck was traveling at 51.5 mph, but Stowers managed to slow down to 22 mph before colliding with the bus. The trailer’s video system managed to record the deceleration.

In the report, Stowers told investigators he saw some snowflakes on the road starting to get wet. He said he eventually slowed down to 40 or 45 by the time he “realized this bus coming, being flown by me.” Stowers recalled seeing “a black wall” about five minutes after the motorcycle passed him, alluding to the scene of a collision he was ultimately unable to avoid.

“I noticed him pulling up behind me, and then as he got closer, he flashed and passed, but then I just saw him walking past me,” Stowers told investigators, before being asked to estimate how fast he thought the motorcycle was driving. “A lot faster than me,” says Stowers.

(The story continues below the photos)


(Source: NTSB)


(Source: NTSB)


(Source: NTSB)

Seconds after the FedEx truck hit the bus, the first of two UPS trucks plunged into the wreckage. The NTSB said the first UPS truck was traveling at 71 mph when it hit the bus. Both the driver and co-driver of the first UPS truck died in the crash.

Next is a touring car. Fortunately, both occupants of the car suffered only minor injuries.

Ultimately, the second UPS truck was traveling 69 mph when it arrived at the crash site. The NTSB investigation found that the driver slowed down and swerved to the right to avoid hitting other vehicles.

Peter Carle, a longtime trucker driving the second UPS truck, said he saw the motor about 10 or 15 minutes before the crash before it last passed him.

“It’s going at a pretty good speed,” he said, adding that he saw another UPS truck plow into the pile of trash. “I saw him hit something, you know, and you could just say he hit it, and the truck parts flew away. And then the trailer starts jumping jackknifing, starting to slide around. And then it got dark, because they pulled the cords out. So all his rear lights were off. So now it’s completely dark. Just what I have on my headlights. ”

The bus driver and his two passengers were killed in the crash. NTSB investigators included their interview with a passenger who survived from that bus. He was accompanied by his aunt for that interview, and KDKA chose not to identify him.

He recounted: “I saw the bus crossing the yellow line… and the passengers started screaming.

The approximately 3,000-page report also provides some background information on the tractor drivers.

The FedEx driver had no previous traffic citations and a previous crash was “unstoppable” in California.

The driver of the first UPS truck had two previous crashes on his record – one in 1988 and one in 2012. The second UPS driver had no previous crashes, but did. had his license suspended in 2004 for failing to appear in court and had a previous conviction for obstructing another vehicle. Same in Pennsylvania.

As for weather conditions that could have been the cause of the crash, investigators said that while the road was wet, they did not find any evidence of icy conditions. NTSB Speed ​​detection factor in fatal multi-vehicle collision – CBS Pittsburgh


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