Highway Accident Report

Adopted: May 3, 1983
J.C. SALES, INC., TRACTOR-SEMITRAILER
CALVARY BAPTIST CHURCH VAN COLLISION
STATE ROUTE 198 AT 19TH AVENUE
NEAR LEMOORE, CALIFORNIA
OCTOBER 8, 1982

NTSB Number: HAR-83/02
NTIS Number: PB83-916202


SYNOPSIS

About 7:50 am., p.d.t, on October 8, 1982, an automobile stopped in compliance with a stop sign at the stop line In the southbound lane of 19th Avenue at its intersection with State Route (SR) 198 near Lemoore, California. After waiting for traffic to clear, the driver accelerated the automobile into the intersection. The automobile's engine stalled, and the vehicle came to a stop, blocking the westbound curb lane on SR 198 in which a westbound tractor-semitrailer was approaching the intersection. While the automobile driver was attempting to restart his vehicle's engines the tractor-semitrailer continued toward the intersection with no apparent lessening of speed. The driver started the automobile engine and moved the vehicle forward to a position which partially blocked the westbound curb lane and also partially obstructed the westbound median lane. However, the driver stopped the automobile before clearing the intersection when he saw that the truck was close to his automobile. The truckdriver swerved his vehicle left and applied the brakes to avoid striking the automobile. The truck traveled to the left of the center of the highway, through the intersection and into the eastbound curb lane where it collided head-on with an eastbound van. Nine of the van's 11 occupants were killed in the collision, 1 passenger died 3 days later, and 1 passenger received minor injuries. The truckdriver received serious injuries.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the truckdriver to slow his vehicle while approaching an automobile that was stalled in an intersection and his subsequent failure to control his vehicle while making an avoidance maneuver. Contributing to the cause of the accident was the automobile driver's poor judgment in moving farther into the intersection after he restarted the automobile's engine.

RECOMMENDATIONS

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board reiterates the following recommendation made to the Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety on May 30, 1975:

Upon the completion of the research dealing with the development of the tractor-trailer driver training standards, distribute such training course information to all professional commercial driver training schools. (H-75-9)

As a result of its investigation of this accident, the National Transportation Safety Board also recommended that the Bureau of Motor Carrier Safety:

Upon completion of the testing of the Tractor-Trailer Driver Training Standards, the Sample Model Curriculum, and final examination criteria, amend Part 391, "Qualifications of Drivers," of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulations to include criteria and standards for the training of tractor-trailer drivers. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-83-21)