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Safety Recommendation Details

Safety Recommendation H-15-018
Synopsis: About 12:55 a.m. on Saturday, June 7, 2014, a 2011 Peterbilt truck-tractor in combination with a 2003 Great Dane semitrailer operated by the motor carrier Walmart Transportation LLC (Walmart Transportation truck) was traveling northbound on the New Jersey Turnpike (part of Interstate 95) near Cranbury, New Jersey, in the center lane of the three-lane roadway. Near milepost 71.4, the Walmart Transportation truck encountered traffic that had slowed to less than 10 mph along a construction corridor, due to closure of the center and right-hand lanes. The truck was traveling 65 mph in a nighttime work zone that had a posted speed limit of 45 mph. The Walmart Transportation truck struck the left rear of a slowly moving 2012 Mercedes-Benz limo van (limo van) that was in the center lane. The impact from the Walmart Transportation truck accelerated the limo van forward and caused it to turn to the right. The limo van collided with a 2006 Freightliner tractor-trailer traveling in the right lane. Contact from the Freightliner and Walmart Transportation trucks forced the limo van to roll over one quarter turn onto its left (driver) side. During its roll, the limo van struck the rear of a 2011 Buick Enclave, which then struck the rear of a 2011 Ford F-150 pickup truck. The limo van came to rest overturned onto its left (driver) side across the center lane. After striking the limo van, the Walmart Transportation truck continued into the left lane and struck a 2005 Nissan Altima in the rear before colliding with a guardrail and stopping on the shoulder against a concrete barrier. Twenty-one people in six vehicles were involved in the crash. As a result of the crash, one limo van passenger, who had been riding in the vehicle’s passenger compartment, died on scene, and the other four passengers in this compartment were seriously injured. Five additional people had minor injuries.
Recommendation: TO THE NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH- OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES: Work with the New Jersey State First Aid Council to establish, with the involvement of county emergency medical services (EMS) coordinators, local municipalities, and EMS agencies, minimum training and practice standards for all organizations that provide EMS on the New Jersey Turnpike.
Original recommendation transmittal letter: PDF
Overall Status: Open - Acceptable Response
Mode: Highway
Location: Cranbury, NJ, United States
Is Reiterated: No
Is Hazmat: No
Accident #: HWY14MH012
Accident Reports: ​Preliminary Report: Highway Accident Investigation, Cranbury, NJMultivehicle Work Zone Crash on Interstate 95
Report #: HAR-15-02
Accident Date: 6/7/2014
Issue Date: 9/8/2015
Date Closed:
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status: State of New Jersey, Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services (Open - Acceptable Response)

Safety Recommendation History
From: NTSB
To: State of New Jersey, Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services
Date: 5/3/2016
Response: We are encouraged by your efforts to investigate your response to the Cranbury crash and to develop appropriate actions to improve EMS response in the state of New Jersey. When developing your recommendations, we urge you to consider a broader, systems-oriented approach that will apply any standards you develop to all EMS responders across the state. We look forward to receiving further updates on your progress and to reviewing the resulting products of your collaboration with the NJSFAC. Pending completion of your efforts, Safety Recommendation H-15-18 is classified OPEN—ACCEPTABLE RESPONSE.

From: State of New Jersey, Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services
Date: 12/18/2015
Response: -From Nancy Kelly-Goodstein, Acting Director, Office of Emergency Medical Services: The Department of Health, Office of Emergency Medical Services (Department) is in receipt of your correspondence dated September 8, 2015, which summarizes the National Transportation Safety Board's (NTSB) Highway Accident Investigation (NTSB/HAR-15/02) of the New Jersey Turnpike crash that occurred in June 2014, and requests that the Department respond to its recommendation that it formulated from its investigation, which is for the Department to "work with the New Jersey State First Aid Council to establish, with the involvement of county emergency medical services (EMS) coordinators, local municipalities, and EMS agencies, minimum training and practice standards for all organizations that provide EMS on the New Jersey Turnpike." Please allow this letter to serve as the Department's response to this request. In order to appreciate the Department's response, a review of the Department's relationship with its emergency medical services (EMS) partners is warranted. By way of background, the Department has a long-standing history of working with the emergency medical services (EMS) community in the development of minimum training and practice standards for EMS personnel, including the New Jersey State First Aid Council (NJSFAC), county emergency medical services coordinators, local municipalities and EMS agencies. Indeed, the Department's relationship with the EMS community dates back to the formation of OEMS in 1967 and is evidenced by its many meetings, conferences and daily interactions with these partners. Specifically, the Department meets with the NJ EMS Council, which is made up of 34 members including four representatives from the NJSFAC, on a quarterly basis to discuss legislation, system oversight and training enhancements, among other topics. The Department also works with the NJSFAC on a regular basis through a number of other advisory councils, such as the EMT Training Fund, Emergency Medical Services for Children, Safety Committee and Basic Life Support Committee, and presented at the NJSFAC's Mid-Year Convention just this past May. Additionally, the Department meets monthly with the County Office of Emergency Management EMS Coordinators for purposes of planning for emergency medical service responses at large crowd events, such as the Papal Visit in Philadelphia and Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands Stadium, and for other potential emergency issues. Moreover, the Department provides an annual presentation at the League of Municipalities Conference so as to educate local elected officers on the EMS system and provide them with guidance on how to better support the provision of quality care in their jurisdictions. These interactions are in addition to the technical assistance that the Department provides to licensed and volunteer EMS agencies on a daily basis on how to improve patient care across the State. From its robust relationship with its community partners, the Department is able to learn of EMS areas in need of improvement and thereafter provide technical assistance and guidance through presentations, education resources and best practices to improve those areas. For example, through its community outreach, the Department determined that it needed to strengthen EMT training and, as a result, rolled out initiatives in support of enhanced EMT training and standards. These initiatives included the statewide adoption of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) educational program standard in 2012, which ensures that entry level EMTs are equipped to deliver quality emergency medical patient care for all who call 9-1-1 and employ the most recent advances in medical technology for the provision of state-of-the art medical care; implementation of new learning management software that enhances EMT educational programs; and regularly updating trauma, triage and transportation guidelines to assist first responders and EMS professional in determining the appropriate disposition of trauma patients. The above makes clear that the Department already has a close working relationship with its EMS community partners, including the NJSFAC, for purposes of ensuring the provision of appropriate emergency medical care to patients. As such, the Department will continue to work with its EMS community partners, as it always has, to strengthen and enhance the provision of EMS throughout the State, including the provision of EMS to injured patients at highway accident scenes. Specific to the instant matter, the Department intends to continue to work with its EMS partners to enhance mass casualty incident command planning and strengthen EMS agency communications for purposes of mass casualty incidents. The Department is also in the process of concluding its investigation into the accident that is the subject of the NTSB report. If the investigation reveals that any EMS personnel at the scene violated the Department's regulations or standards of care, then the Department will take appropriate enforcement action, which could range from written warnings and re-training to revocation of certifications. In summary, the Department agrees it is essential that it work with its local EMS partners, and believes the record establishes that it already does so. Nonetheless, the Department is always ready to do more, when appropriate. The Department fosters a culture of continuous quality improvement and understands the importance of evaluating incidents for quality, performance improvement and ensuring the safety of the public.