WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board is dispatching a go-team to Florida to investigate Saturday’s crash involving a semi-truck and a bus carrying at least 30 agricultural workers.
The crash occurred in St. Marks, Florida, at around 5:20 a.m. EDT at a rural intersection; a post-crash fire involving both vehicles ensued. Local authorities reported that many of the occupants were injured, some fatally.
NTSB investigators have been working closely with the Florida Highway Patrol, who responded to the accident site Saturday. The FHP documented the scene and preserved evidence relevant to the safety investigation, including both of the vehicles.
This is the third NTSB investigation of crashes involving agricultural workers since November 2015 when a motorcoach overturned in Little Rock, Arkansas, killing six. Six agricultural workers lost their lives June 18, 2016, when a 15-passenger van occupied by 16 people overturned in Ruther Glen, Virginia. The NTSB has been working with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Department of Labor on all three of these crashes.
The NTSB team, which will arrive in Florida today and is expected to be on-scene for up to a week, will be led by investigator-in-charge Jennifer Morrison. The team includes specialists in motor carrier, highway factors, vehicle factors, human performance and survival factors.
A preliminary report is expected within 30 days. Additional updates will be issued as circumstances warrant.