Highway Accident Report

Multiple Vehicle Crossover Accident
Slinger, Wisconsin
February 12, 1997

NTSB Number HAR-98/01
NTIS Number PB98-916203
PDF Document (2.7M)

Synopsis: About 5:52 a.m. on February 12, 1997, a doubles truck with empty trailers, operated by Consolidated Freightways, Inc., that was traveling northbound on U.S. Route 41, a four-lane divided limited access highway near Slinger, Wisconsin, lost control and crossed over the 50-foot depressed median into the southbound lanes. A flatbed truck loaded with lumber, operated by McFaul Transport, Inc., that was traveling southbound on U.S. Route 41 collided with the doubles truck, lost control, and crossed over the median into the northbound lanes. A northbound passenger van with nine adult occupants struck and underrode the right front side of the flatbed truck at the landing gear. A refrigerator truck loaded with produce, operated by Glandt/Dahlke, Inc., that was also traveling northbound, struck the right rear side of the flatbed truck. Although it had snowed from about 8 p.m. to 3 a.m. the night before, it was clear at the time of the accident. Other motorists and the emergency responders to the accident scene reported icy patches in the roadway. Eight of the nine van occupants suffered fatal injuries, and the remaining occupant suffered serious injuries. Two of the three commercial truckdrivers were treated for minor injuries and released; the third refused treatment.

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the doubles truckdriver's lack of judgment in driving too fast for the configuration of his truck under the hazardous highway weather conditions. Contributing to the severity of the injuries and the reduced potentiality for survival was the lack of restraint use by the unrestrained occupants of the passenger van.

The major safety issues identified in this accident are:

As a result of this accident investigation, the Safety Board makes recommendations to the Federal Highway Administration, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the National Association of Governors' Highway Safety Representatives, the American Trucking Associations, the Motor Freight Carrier Association, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation, the Independent Truckers and Drivers Association, the National Private Truck Council, and the Owner-Operators Independent Drivers Associa-tion, Inc. Also, the Safety Board reiterates one recommendation to the State of Wisconsin.