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Accident Report Detail

Pacific Intermountain Express Tractor cargo Tank Semi-Trailer Eagle/F.B. Truck Lines, Inc., Tractor Lowboy Semi-Trailer Coll. & Fire

Executive Summary

‚ÄčAbout 8:10 a.m., m.s.t., on November 14, 1981, a westbound tractor cargo tank semitrailer loaded with approximately 9,000 gallons of gasoline sideswiped an eastbound tractor-lowboy semitrailer while attempting to negotiate a right-hand curve on a three-lane highway near Canon City, Colorado. When the cargo tank of the westbound vehicle was punctured during impact, fire erupted and rapidly engulfed the two accident vehicles and a passenger car not involved in the impact. In addition to extensive property damage, eight vehicle occupants were killed and two seriously injured as a result of the postcrash fire.

Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the failure of the Pacific Intermountain Express truckdriver to maintain his vehicle within the proper traffic lane during an evasive maneuver in a right curve at a speed in excess of the vehicle's critical overturn stability. Contributing to the driver's loss of control was the driver's cumulative fatigue. Contributing to the accident severity and loss of life were the puncture of the cargo tank and the ignition of the released gasoline cargo immediately following impact.

Accident Location: Canon City , UT    
Accident Date: 11/14/1981
Accident ID: DCA82AH002

Date Adopted: 6/22/1982
NTSB Number: HAR-82-03
NTIS Number: PB82-916203

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