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Accident Report Detail

Tractor-Semi-Trailer/Schoolbus Collision and Overturn

Executive Summary

‚ÄčAbout 7:50 a.m., on March 8, 1977, a southbound tractor-semitrailer struck the rear of a stopped schoolbus on U.S. Highway 29 near Rustburg, Virginia. Three of the 33 occupants of the schoolbus died as a result of the collision. The other occupants, including the busdriver, sustained injuries ranging from bruises to fractures. The truckdriver sustained chest injuries.

Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of the truckdriver, due to inattention and carelessness, to perceive and avoid the stopped schoolbus. Contributing to the accident was the stopping of the schoolbus in the traveled way of the high-speed highway, a practice of the Commonwealth of Virginia which was contrary to the provisions of Federal Highway Safety Program Standard No. 17.

Contributing to the fatalities and injuries was the lack of occupant restraints in the schoolbus which allowed one occupant to be ejected, resulting in fatal injuries, and others to be propelled into sharp or unyielding interior components.

Accident Location: Rustburg , VA    
Accident Date: 3/8/1977
Accident ID: 80153

Date Adopted: 2/23/1978
NTSB Number: HAR-78-01
NTIS Number: PB-277990/AS

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