Highway Accident Report

Adopted: December 5, 1983
COLLISION OF HUMBOLDT COUNTY DUMP TRUCK AND
KLAMATH-TRINITY UNIFIED DISTRICT SCHOOLBUS
STATE ROUTE 96
NEAR WILLOW CREEK, CALIFORNIA
FEBRUARY 24, 1983

NTSB Number: HAR-83/05
NTIS Number: PB83-916205


SYNOPSIS

On February 24, 1983, an empty dump truck, traveling north on State Route 96, a two-lane rural highway near Willow Creek, California suddenly veered left across the centerline and collided head-on with a southbound schoolbus loaded with 37 occupants. The truckdriver and one schoolbus passenger seated directly behind the schoolbus driver were killed; the schoolbus driver and 30 passengers were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the inattention of the truckdriver to the developing traffic situation ahead and the execution of a braking maneuver, that resulted in the truck sliding out of the proper lane of travel.
Contributing to the severity of some of the student injuries were the pre-Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard 222 schoolbus seats with exposed metal frames.

RECOMMENDATIONS

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

--the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles:

Expand its medical qualifications requirements for a class 1 and 2 motor vehicle operator's license to include a provision which requires an applicant to submit complete and explicit medical information, including one's medical history. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-83-65)

Consider enacting appropriate legislation to prohibit the falsification and/or omission of medical information pursuant to obtaining a class 1 and 2 motor vehicle operator's license if current administrative authority will not permit the present medical qualifications to be expanded. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-83-66)

--the California State Department of Education and the Washington State Board of Education:

Initiate a program to retrofit (except where the design makes retrofitting economically prohibitive) all transit-type schoolbuses within your fleet that are not equipped with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety .Standard (FMVSS) 222 approved seats with FMVSS 222 approved seat and restraining barriers if these schoolbuses are refurbished during their normal service life. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-83-67)

--the Federal Highway Administration:

Revise Federal Motor Carrier Safety Regulation 49 CFR 391.43 to incorporate a provision, similar to that specified in 14 CFR 67.20(a) for airmen medical certification, which will prohibit the falsification or omission of medical information in connection with a medical certification physical examination. (Class II, Priority Action) (H-83-68)