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Accident Report Detail

Pickup Truck/Church Activity Bus Head-on Collision and Fire

Executive Summary

‚ÄčAbout 10:55 p.m. eastern daylight time on May 14, 1988, a pickup truck traveling northbound in the southbound lanes of Interstate 71 struck head-on a church activity bus traveling southbound in the left lane of the highway near Carrollton, Kentucky. As the pickup truck rotated during impact, it struck a passenger car traveling southbound in the right lane near the church bus. The church bus fuel tank was punctured during the collision sequence, and a fire ensued, engulfing the entire bus. The busdriver and 26 bus passengers were fatally injured. Thirty-four bus passengers sustained minor to critical injuries, and six bus passengers were not injured. The pickup truck driver sustained serious injuries, but neither occupant of the passenger car was injured.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the collision between the pickup truck and the church activity bus was the alcohol-impaired condition of the pickup truck driver who, operated his vehicle opposite to the direction of traffic flow on an interstate highway. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the puncture of the bus fuel tank and ensuing fire in the bus, the partial blockage by the rear bench seats of the area leading to the rear emergency door which impeded rapid passenger egress, and the flammability of the materials in the bus seat cushions.

Accident Location: Carrollton , KY    
Accident Date: 5/14/1988
Accident ID: DCA88MH004

Date Adopted: 3/28/1989
NTSB Number: HAR-89-01
NTIS Number: PB89-916201

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