National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
(Washington, D. C.) -- The National Transportation Safety Board has determined that a truckdriver driving too fast under hazardous conditions caused a fatal highway accident near Slinger, Wisconsin. In addition, the Safety Board concluded that the lack of restraint use by some of the occupants of the passenger van contributed to the severity of their injuries and reduced their potential for survival.
Just before 6:00 a.m. on February 12, 1997, a doubles truck with empty trailers was traveling northbound on U.S. Route 41, a four-lane divided highway, near Slinger, Wisconsin. The truckdriver lost control and crossed over the 50-foot grass median into the southbound lanes where the truck collided with a flatbed truck loaded with lumber. The flatbed truck then crossed over the median into the northbound lanes where it was struck by a northbound passenger van with nine adult occupants. A refrigerator truck that was also traveling northbound then struck the flatbed truck. 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.
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.
In its investigation, the Board addressed the following major safety issues:
The Board made 25 recommendations to the following organizations:
The NTSB's complete report, PB98-916203 may be purchased from the National Technical Information Service, 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161. The telephone number is (703) 487-4650. The report is also available on the NTSB web site.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged with determining the probable cause
of transportation accidents, promoting transportation safety, and assisting victims of transportation accidents and their families.