Highway Accident Report

Adopted: September 6, 1979
FORD COURIER PICKUP TRUCK
FIXED-OBJECT COLLISION
PATUXENT ROAD
NEAR CROFTON, MARYLAND
APRIL 23, 1979

NTSB Number: HAR-79/06
NTIS Number: PB-300545/AS


SYNOPSIS

About 9:15 p.m. on April 23, 1979, a compact pickup truck with 12 teenaged occupants was traveling between 64 and 78 mph along a winding country road near Crofton, Maryland, when it failed to negotiate a curve to the left. The truck ran off the right side of the road and struck three trees located about 7 feet from the edge of the pavement. Ten passengers were killed and one passenger was seriously injured; the driver was injured slightly.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was high speed, reckless driving of a vehicle by a driver who was under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. Contributing to the severe consequences of the accident was the presence of passengers in the open bed of the pickup truck, an area that offered no crash protection.

RECOMMENDATIONS

As a result of Its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board recommended:

to the National Committee on Uniform Traffic Laws and Ordinances:

"Establish model guidelines for prohibiting passengers from riding in open-cargo areas of vehicles that are not being used for work-related purposes. (Class U, Priority Action) (H-79-40.)”