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Accident Report Detail

Francisco Flores Truck/Pickup Truck with Camper and Trailer Collision, U.S. Route 395

Executive Summary

‚ÄčThis report describes and analyzes an accident involving a tractor-semitrailer, loaded with lumber, that experienced loss of braking capability while descending Sherwin Pass, a steep, long grade located along U. S. Route 395. The unit suddenly began to accelerate at a point 5 to 5 1/2- miles from a truck parking area where the driver had stopped to adjust his brakes. It managed to remain on the roadway for an additional 2 to 2 1/2 miles, but, as it was attempting to negotiate a curve, the trailer separated from the tractor and overturned in front of a pickup/camper/trailer traveling in the opposite direction. All seven occupants of the pickup, which burst into flames at impact, died in the accident.

Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the loss of braking which permitted the tractor-semitrailer to run away. The loss of braking effectiveness was caused by the improper adjustment of the brakes by the driver, the selection of too high a gear or descent, and a weight overload of the truck.

Accident Location: Bishop , CA    
Accident Date: 6/29/1974
Accident ID: 79828

Date Adopted: 8/14/1975
NTSB Number: HAR-75-05
NTIS Number: PB-245737/AS

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