Highway Accident Report

Accident No.: HWY-98-SH-013
Accident Type: Head-on collision
Location: Killeen, Texas
Date and Time: January 10, 1998; 3:10 a.m.
Vehicle 1 (V1): 1988 Peterbilt tractor-semitrailer, empty
Vehicle 2 (V2): 1988 Chevrolet Blazer sports utility vehicle
Fatalities/Injuries: 5 fatalities, 1 serious injury

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Accident Description

The Chevrolet Blazer sports utility vehicle (SUV) traveled across the centerline of the roadway on State Highway 195, and its left front struck the left front of the tractor-semitrailer. (See figure 1.) The SUV was destroyed, and the tractor was extensively damaged. The driver and four occupants of the SUV were fatally injured, and the truckdriver sustained serious injuries. The SUV occupants had a significant blood alcohol content; the four passenger's levels measured 0.05, 0.10, 0.17, and 0.18 percent, and the driver's level was 0.09 percent. The level for being legally drunk at the time of the accident was 0.10 percent; now it is 0.08 percent.

State/Federal Oversight

Texas adopted the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations with some variances; none of the variances were pertinent to the carrier or driver at the time of the accident.

Figure 1. Accident diagram.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the sports utility vehicle driver to stay in his travel lane due to alcohol impairment.

Adopted: September 17, 2002