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Accident Report Detail

Intercity Bus Loss of Control and Collision With Bridge Rail on Interstate 70

Executive Summary

On the afternoon of August 25, 1985, a westbound Intercity bus with 17 occupants was traveling on Interstate 70, a four-lane divided highway near Frederick, Maryland. R was cloudy with light rain and the pavement was wet. About 12:40 p.m., as the bus descended a hill with a slight curve to the right, the rear tires of the bus lost traction. bus moved side to side out of control, crossing both travel lanes and the right paved shoulder, and struck the left side of a reinforced concrete bridge rail over the Monocacy River before coming to rest. Of the 17 occupants onboard 14 were ejected from the bus during the collision sequence. The busdriver and 5 passengers were fatally injured; 11 other passengers sustained minor to serious Injuries.

Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the loss of control of the bus during a braking maneuver on wet highway pavement with low and variant frictional qualities and at a speed too great for the existing weather conditions.

Contributing to the accident were the lack of an operative speedometer and the lack of highway signs to warn the busdriver of the slippery road conditions.

Accident Location: Frederick , MD    
Accident Date: 8/25/1985
Accident ID: DCA85MH013

Date Adopted: 1/22/1987
NTSB Number: HAR-87-01
NTIS Number: PB87-916201

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