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Accident Report Detail

 
Valley Supply Co. Truck Towing Farm Plow Anchor Motor Freight Inc. Car Carrier Truck/NY State Assoc. for Retarded Children

Executive Summary

‚ÄčOn April 5, 1983, a 2-ton flatbed truck, loaded with a farm plow and towing another farm plow, was traveling southbound on a two-lane, two-way rural highway near Holmesville, New York. An adult passenger bus, with 20 persons on board, was following the flatbed truck at a distance of about 100 feet. As both vehicles entered a 3,820-foot radius right curve, the towed plow suddenly separated from its hitch attachments and veered left into the opposing northbound traffic lane. A northbound tractor car-carrier semitrailer struck the plow, rupturing the tractor's left front tire. As a result, the driver lost control of the vehicle, and the vehicle veered left across the highway centerline and collided head-on with the bus. The busdriver and four bus passengers were killed. The truckdriver of the car carrier and nine bus passengers were hospitalized with various degrees of injury. Six bus passengers were treated and released.


Probable Cause

‚ÄčThe National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the towing of a farm plow on a highway at a speed which did not permit the farm plow to track properly behind the flatbed truck and the use of an unapproved tow hitch device. Contributing to the cause was the failure to use safety chains to preclude vehicle separation in the event of a tow hitch failure. Contributing to the severity of injuries of some of the bus passengers was the lack of effective occupant protection from secondary impacts with interior surfaces.


Accident Location: Holmesville , NY    
Accident Date: 4/5/1983
Accident ID: DCA83AH004

Date Adopted: 4/3/1984
NTSB Number: HAR-84-01
NTIS Number: PB84-916201

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