NTSB Press Release

National Transportation Safety Board
Office of Public Affairs


UPDATE ON INVESTIGATION INTO ATLANTA MOTORCOACH ACCIDENT

May 24, 2007

The National Transportation Safety Board continues to investigate the accident in Atlanta, GA., in March involving a motorcoach transporting a baseball team from Bluffton University in Ohio.

The accident occurred about 5:40 a.m., on March 2, 2007, when the motorcoach traveling southbound on Interstate 75, in the HOV lane, entered the left side HOV exit ramp to Northside Drive. The exit ramp is designed so that it ends at a "T" intersection with Northside Drive. The vehicle went over a concrete bridge rail on the Northside Drive overpass, fell back onto I-75, and came to rest on its side. The motorcoach driver, his wife and five of the 33 passengers on board were killed, while others received injuries of varying severity.

The field portion of the investigation has been completed. The accident vehicle has been examined and was released to the owners of record on April 2. No mechanical anomalies were found.

Follow-up interviews with coach passengers were conducted on the Bluffton University campus on March 21 and 22.

The investigating team currently is reviewing records pertaining to the accident including the driver's qualification file, the driver's logbook, trip itinerary and route information, vehicle maintenance files, and information relating to the motorcoach company's operations and safety history.

Investigators also are examining sight distance measurements taken on the roadway and exit ramp following the accident, and are looking to specifically determine the point at which passengers were ejected from the coach and how the fatalities ands injuries were sustained.

The team also will be reviewing federal and state rules and guidelines in effect at the time the left-side HOV exit ramp to Northside Drive was constructed, and any changes made since then.

NTSB investigators also will review any changes to the roadway made by the Georgia DOT since the accident, such as additional pavement markings and signage, the installation of lane channeling islands and reflector material on the concrete bridge rail of the T-intersection.

Investigators will develop a series of factual reports on the accident that, along with other supporting information, will be placed in the public docket at a later time.

NTSB Office of Public Affairs: (202) 314-6100

 

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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.