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Impaired driving caused deadly crash

NTSB report reveals illicit drug use by pickup truck driver

Posted October 18, 2018

Impaired driving was the cause of a deadly crash involving a bus and pickup truck on March 29, 2017, near Concan, Texas, according to the results of a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation.The collision occurred when the pickup truck crossed the double, solid-yellow centerline, entered the southbound lane, and collided with a bus carrying 13 passengers. The impact killed the bus driver and 12 of the 13 passengers. The pickup truck driver and one bus passenger suffered serious injuries.

NTSB’s crash investigation revealed:

  • The bus was not equipped with passenger lap/shoulder belts; and
  • Unsmoked and partially smoked marijuana cigarettes, drug paraphernalia, and prescription and over-the-counter medication were in the cab of the pickup truck.

NTSB’s recommendations

The agency’s report addressed the increase in illicit, prescription, and over-the-counter drug use among drivers.

Three recommendations were issued as a result of the crash, including:

  • The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration should develop and disseminate best practices and model specifications for oral fluid drug screening devices that can be used by law enforcement during roadside stops.
  • The Texas Department of Transportation should promote the importance of attending drug-impaired driver enforcement training and increase training sessions to meet the demands of local and state law enforcement.
  • Medium-size bus and seat manufacturers should install lap/shoulder belts as standard, rather than optional, equipment on buses.

The abstract for this report is available online.

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