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Accident Report Detail

Tractor-Semitrailer/Intercity Bus Head-On Collision, Interstate 10

Executive Summary

About 1:45 p.m. on May 4, 1987, while traveling eastbound on Interstate 10 (I-10) in Beaumont, Texas, a tractor-semitrailer (truck) operated by Graebel Van Lines, Inc. (GVL), Jackknifed in the center lane, veered leftward across the left land and median strip, and struck a Trailways bus traveling westbound on I-10 in the left lane. A small fire which started in the bus below the driver's seating area was quickly extinguished by a passerby. The busdriver and 5 bus passengers sustained fatal injuries, 17 bus passengers sustained serious to minor injuries, and 6 bus passengers were not injured. The truck driver and helper sustained moderate and minor injuries, respectively. It was raining at the time of the accident.​

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the truck driver's operation of a tractor-semitrailer at a speed too great for existing weather conditions while traveling on a section of lightly flooded highway pavement. Contributing to the loss of control of the tractor-semitrailer was the inadequate tread depth of the rear tractor tires, the inoperative speedometer, the low surface texture of the pavement, the low friction of the lightly flooded pavement, and the improper corrective maintenance of the highway.​

Accident Location: Beaumont , TX    
Accident Date: 5/4/1987
Accident ID: DCA87MH006

Date Adopted: 2/2/1988
NTSB Number: HAR-88-01
NTIS Number: PB88-916201

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