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Accident Report Detail

School Bus Bridge Override Following Collision With Passenger Vehicle

Executive Summary

On Monday, November 20, 2006, about 10:10 a.m. central standard time, a 2006 Integrated Conventional Corporation (IC) 71-passenger school bus, transporting 40 students from Lee High School to the Huntsville Center for Technology, was traveling westbound in the left lane of an elevated two-lane Interstate Highway 565 (I-565) transition ramp, in Huntsville, Alabama. A 1990 Toyota Celica, also traveling from Lee High School to the Huntsville Center for Technology, was in the left lane behind the school bus. According to witnesses, the Toyota moved to the right lane and accelerated in an attempt to pass the school bus. The driver of the Toyota stated that as he came alongside the school bus, his vehicle began "fishtailing" and became impossible to control. The Toyota veered to the left, striking the right front tire of the school bus. The vehicles remained in contact as they swerved to the left, and both vehicles struck a 32-inch-high cement bridge rail on the left side of the ramp.

Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the November 20, 2006, accident in Huntsville, Alabama, was a vehicle loss of control during a passing maneuver around a curve by the Toyota driver attempting to overtake the school bus prior to an impending exit both drivers intended to take. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the restricted trajectory of the school bus away from the bridge rail due to the presence of the Toyota, which resulted in the bus overriding the rail and falling 30 feet from the elevated highway access ramp to the ground.

Accident Location: Huntsville , AL    
Accident Date: 11/20/2006
Accident ID: HWY07MH007

Date Adopted: 11/19/2009
NTSB Number: HAB-09-02
NTIS Number:  

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