WASHINGTON (May 4, 2017) — The preliminary report for the NTSB’s ongoing investigation of the March 29, 2017, fatal crash involving a pickup truck and a 13-passenger bus, near Concan, Texas, was released by the agency Thursday.
The 67-year-old bus driver and 12 passengers aboard the bus, operated by the First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, died after their bus was struck by a pickup truck on U.S. Highway 83 in Uvalde County. The pickup truck’s driver – the only occupant – was seriously injured as was one bus passenger.
The preliminary report does not contain analysis and does not state probable cause for the crash, rather, the preliminary report summarizes factual information collected thus far in the investigation. The information in the report is preliminary and will be supplemented or corrected as necessary during the NTSB’s investigation.
In this photo taken on March 31, 2017, Kristin Poland and David Pereira examining the pickup truck involved in the Concan, TX crash. (NTSB Photo Taken by: Jennifer Morrison)
Among the facts contained in the report are:
The NTSB’s review of witnesses’ 14-minute video of the pickup, taken prior to the crash, revealed the pickup truck crossed the double yellow centerline 19 times, crossed the solid white edge lines of the roadway 37 times, and entered the grass roadside at least five times. At one point in the video the pickup truck is seen traveling on the wrong side of the road.
The NTSB estimates the speed of the pickup truck to be between 67 and 71 mph during the witness video. The posted speed limit was 70 mph.
The NTSB subpoenaed the pickup driver’s cell phone records, and will review the records in coming weeks. In an interview with the NTSB the driver stated he was checking his phone for a text when the crash happened.
Preliminary evidence indicates that all the occupants of the bus were wearing available restraints. The rear passengers had lap-only seat belts available for their use.
The pickup truck driver told NTSB investigators he took prescription medications prior to the crash. Several of those medications were found in the pickup truck at the crash scene. Marijuana was also found in the pickup truck. Toxicology test results for the driver are pending.
No mechanical defects were identified in the initial inspection of either vehicle.
There has not been a successful download of event-related data from any vehicle-based recording or transmitting devices.
The preliminary report can be viewed and downloaded at https://go.usa.gov/x5fqp.