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Accident Report Detail

Collision of Tuba City School District Schoolbus and Bell Creek, Inc., Tractor- Semitrailer, US 160

Executive Summary

‚ÄčAbout 3:14 p.m. mountain standard time on April 29, 1985, a Bell Creek, Inc. tractor-semitrailer transporting 99 head of cattle and traveling about 59 mph struck the rear of a 1977 Tuba City Unified School District schoolbus on eastbound U.S. 160 about 16 miles north of Tuba City Arizona. The schoolbus was stopped with its warning lights flashing in the eastbound lane of the two-lane highway to discharge passengers. The weather was clear, the pavement was dry, and there were no visibility obstructions for about 1.4 miles to the rear of the schoolbus. Of the 32 schoolbus passengers (ages 5 to 21 years), 2 were fatally injured, 4 sustained serious injuries 4 received moderate injuries, 18 sustained minor injuries, and 4 were not injured. The truckdriver and the schoolbus driver received minor injuries.

Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the truckdriver's chronic fatigue, which adversely affected his ability to avoid a collision with the stationary schoolbus; his chronic fatigue developed from a loss of sleep due to a combination of excessive duty time and a prolonged irregular duty pattern. Contributing to the accident was the failure of Bell Creek, Inc. to properly monitor the truckdriver's activities to prevent excessive hours of service.

Accident Location: Tuba City , AZ    
Accident Date: 4/29/1985
Accident ID: DCA85MH00

Date Adopted: 12/10/1985
NTSB Number: HAR-85-06
NTIS Number: PB85-916207

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