National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs
The National Transportation Safety Board today released the following update on its investigation of the February 14, 2003 crash involving a motorcoach and an SUV near Hewitt, Texas. The accident resulted in 7 deaths and 31 injuries.
The collision occurred on Interstate 35, during a heavy rainstorm, when a motorcoach skidded out of control on wet pavement and crossed the median into oncoming traffic. The bus subsequently struck the oncoming SUV.
The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate this crash. Toxicology results for the drivers of the motorcoach and the SUV were negative for drugs and alcohol and thorough inspections of both vehicles revealed no mechanical defects.
Investigators are conducting comprehensive laboratory studies and testing related to tire and pavement interface issues. Critical to the Board's investigation is an examination of traction and control capabilities of both the accident motorcoach and commercial vehicles nationwide on saturated road surfaces. The Safety Board is exploring the relationship between commercial vehicle tires and pavement surfaces to determine the implications of current tire tread standards and pavement management techniques.
The Safety Board expects to complete the final report on this investigation by the end of 2004.
NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100
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.