Highway Accident Report

Adopted: May 1, 1989
AUGUST 28, 1987

NTSB Number: HAR-89/02
NTIS Number: PB89-916202


On August 28, 1987, a 1982 school bus carrying 21 passengers was traveling westbound on Levy County (Florida) Road C-32 when it collided with a two-axle flatbed truck traveling northbound on Levy County Road C-337 near Bronson, Florida. The school bus driver and 5 passengers died; the truckdriver sustained critical injuries and 16 school bus passengers were injured.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the truckdriver's failure, for undetermined reasons, to stop his vehicle at the stop sign. Contributing to the severity of this accident was the loss of structural integrity of the school bus due to the collapse of the school bus floor.

The safety issues discussed in the report include:

· the crashworthiness of the Thomas Built school bus body, particularly the floor; and
· deficiencies of the Federal motor vehicle safety standard (FMVSS) applicable to the floor Joints of large school buses.

As a result of its investigation, the Safety Board classified three safety recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration as “Closed—Superseded” and issued a new safety recommendation regarding FMVSS 221. The Safety Board also issued a safety recommendation to Florida concerning the assignment of points to driving violation conviction records of Florida-licensed drivers.


As a result of its investigation, the National Transportation Safety Board made the following safety recommendations:

--to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:

Expedite the process of amending Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 221 to make clear that all floor Joints are subject to FMVSS 221, to remove the apparent anomaly caused by subsection S5 (Strength Requirements), and to make tests for compliance with the standard more reflective of the type of loading experienced by the floor Joints in actual crashes. (Class II, Priority Action)(H-89-20)

--to the governor and the legislative leaders of the Florida General Assembly:

Amend the Florida Statutes to assess the full number of driving points when a Florida-licensed driver is convicted of a driving violation out of state or in a Federal court. (Class II, Priority Action)(H-89-21)