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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-11-015
Details
Synopsis: On October 22, 2009, about 10:38 a.m. eastern daylight time, a 2006 Navistar International truck-tractor in combination with a 1994 Mississippi Tank Company MC331 specification cargo tank semitrailer (the combination unit), operated by AmeriGas Propane, L.P., and laden with 9,001 gallons of liquefied petroleum gas, rolled over on a connection ramp after exiting Interstate 69 (I-69) southbound to proceed south on Interstate 465 (I-465), about 10 miles northeast of downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. The truck driver was negotiating a left curve in the right lane on the connection ramp, which consisted of two southbound lanes, when the combination unit began to encroach upon the left lane, occupied by a 2007 Volvo S40 passenger car. The truck driver responded to the Volvo’s presence in the left lane by oversteering clockwise, causing the combination unit to veer to the right and travel onto the paved right shoulder. Moments later, the truck driver steered counterclockwise to redirect and return the combination unit from the right shoulder to the right lane. The truck driver’s excessive, rapid, evasive steering maneuver triggered a sequence of events that caused the cargo tank semitrailer to roll over, decouple from the truck-tractor, penetrate a steel W-beam guardrail, and collide with a bridge footing and concrete pier column supporting the southbound I-465 overpass. The collision entirely displaced the outside bridge pier column from its footing and resulted in a breach at the front of the cargo tank that allowed the liquefied petroleum gas to escape, form a vapor cloud, and ignite. The truck-tractor came to rest on its right side south of the I-465 overpasses, and the decoupled cargo tank semitrailer came to rest on its left side, near the bridge footing supporting the southbound I-465 overpass. The truck driver and the Volvo driver sustained serious injuries in the accident and postaccident fire, and three occupants of passenger vehicles traveling on I-465 received minor injuries from the postaccident fire.
Recommendation: TO THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ADMINISTRATION: Until the best practices in Safety Recommendations H-11-13 and -14 have been developed and disseminated, provide information to state transportation agencies about the safety risks associated with cross-slope breaks and their potential for increasing the rollover propensity of commercial vehicles that have a high center of gravity.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Closed - Acceptable Action
Mode: Highway
Location: Indianapolis, IN, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Is NPRM: No
Accident #: HWY10MH001
Accident Reports:
Rollover of a Truck-Tractor and Cargo Tank Semitrailer Carrying Liquified Petroleum Gas and Subsequent Fire
Report #: HAR-11-01
Accident Date: 10/22/2009
Issue Date: 9/2/2011
Date Closed: 3/26/2013
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: FHWA (Closed - Acceptable Action)
Keyword(s):

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 3/26/2013
Response: The FHWA’s issuance of a November 30, 2012, memorandum providing the recommended guidance to its Division Administrators, Federal Lands Division Engineers, and field safety specialists satisfies Safety Recommendation H 11 15, which is classified CLOSED—ACCEPTABLE ACTION.

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/21/2012
Response: -From Victor M. Mendez, Administrator: In response to recommendation H -11-15 the Federal Highway Administration circulated a memorandum (enclosed) on November 30,2012, to Division Administrators, Federal Lands Highway Division Engineers, and field safety specialists to be shared with their State partners. This memorandum provides the following information: • Background and links to NCHRP Report 500 guides that provide information relevant to cargo tank rollovers and crashes of other high center of gravity vehicles, • Information on the geometric design issues associated with the crash, and • Related future activities. In addition, it recirculates the September 3, 2010, memorandum discussing Design Considerations for Prevention of Cargo Tank Rollovers. Given the above described actions, we respectfully request that recommendation H-11-15 be classified as "Closed - Acceptable Action."

From: NTSB
To: FHWA
Date: 10/16/2012
Response: The FHWA Office of Safety circulated a memo in September 2010 to the FHWA Directors of Field Services, Division Administrators, and Federal Land Engineers regarding design considerations for the prevention of cargo tank rollovers. From discussions with FHWA staff, NTSB staff is aware that the FHWA’s revision of this memo is ongoing and will include information from the Indianapolis accident investigation, as well as information regarding the importance of design considerations for all vehicles that have a high center of gravity. Pending issuance and dissemination of the updated memo, Safety Recommendation H-11-15 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: FHWA
To: NTSB
Date: 12/12/2011
Response: -From Victor M. Mendez, Administrator: In September 2010, the FHWA Office of Safety, circulated a memo to FHWA Directors of Field Services, Division Administrators, and Federal Land Engineers regarding design considerations for prevention of cargo tank rollovers. When FHWA disseminates guidance memos, the Division offices share the information with their State counterparts as a matter of protocol. In light of recommendations H-11-13 through -15, the information in this memo will be supplemented and redistributed to include information from the crash investigation as well as information regarding the importance of design considerations for high center of gravity vehicles, not just cargo tanks. FHWA will also work with AASHTO to circulate the memo to their membership. This will be complete by February 2012.