On March 29, 2017, about 12:20 p.m., a 2007 Dodge Ram 3500 pickup truck, occupied by a 20-year-old driver, was traveling north on US Highway 83, near Concan, Texas, when it crossed into the southbound lane and collided with a medium-size bus. The crash occurred near milepost 553.4, near the end of a right-hand curve. The 2004 Ford E350 Turtle Top Van Terra medium-size bus was occupied by a 66-year-old driver and 13 passengers and operated by the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas. As a result of the crash, the bus driver and 12 passengers were fatally injured. The driver of the truck and one bus passenger were seriously injured.
The probable cause of the Concan, Texas, crash was the failure of the pickup truck driver to control his vehicle due to impairment stemming from his use of marijuana in combination with misuse of a prescribed medication, clonazepam. Contributing to the severity of the injuries was the insufficient occupant protection provided by the lap belts worn by passengers seated in the rear of the medium-size bus.
We made recommendations to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to the state of Texas, to the Texas Department of Transportation, to medium-size bus manufacturers ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, LLC; Coach & Equipment Manufacturing Corporation; REV Group, Inc.; Diamond Coach Corporation; Forest River, Inc.; Girardin Blue Bird; SVO Group, Inc.; and Thomas Built Buses and to seat manufacturers Freedman Seating Company and HSM Transportation Solutions.