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On Tuesday, January 19, 2016, about 6:37 a.m., a 2014 MCI D4505 motorcoach, operated by Greyhound Lines, Inc., was traveling northbound on US Highway 101 (US-101) in San Jose, Santa Clara County, California, when it entered and traveled in a gore area, rather than the intended high-occupancy-vehicle (HOV) lane, and collided with a crash attenuator. The bus was occupied by the 58-year-old driver and 21 passengers. The weather conditions were dark, with moderate-to-heavy rain and reported winds from the east southeast at 20 mph, with gusts reaching 28 mph. The traffic conditions on US-101 north were moderate to heavy. At the US-101 State Route 85 (SR-85) interchange where the crash occurred?US-101 north consists of (1) a single left exit HOV lane for SR-85, (2) the US-101 HOV lane, (3) three main travel lanes, and (4) two right exit conventional lanes for SR-85. A gore area 990 feet long separates the left exit HOV lane for SR-85 from the US-101 HOV lane. The gore widens to about 22 feet at the point where a reusable energy-absorbing crash terminal (REACT) 350, nine-cylinder crash attenuator is in place, in advance of a 3-foot-high concrete barrier. The barrier physically separates the left exit HOV lane for SR-85 from the US-101 HOV lane. Video evidence showed that the bus was traveling in the US-101 HOV lane as it approached the interchange. Then, the driver initiated a movement to the left, into the gore area. Instead of entering the left exit HOV lane for SR-85, as he reported to the California Highway Patrol he had intended to do, the driver maintained the vehicle’s path in the gore until colliding with the crash attenuator. The bus then rode up on the concrete barrier, yawed counter-clockwise, and rolled 90 degrees to the right. The vehicle came to rest on its right side against the concrete barrier, with its aft section resting on the US-101 HOV lane and its front hanging over the left exit HOV lane for SR-85. The bus had traveled 65 feet from the point of initial impact with the crash attenuator to its final rest position. As a result of the crash, two passengers were ejected and died. The driver, who was partially ejected, and 13 passengers one of whom was also partially ejected sustained minor-to-serious injuries.
TO MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES INTERNATIONAL, INC.: Evaluate and, if appropriate, modify the driver and passenger floor structure design on new motorcoaches to prevent driver seat separation during crashes.
Original recommendation transmittal letter:
Open - Await Response
San Jose, CA, United States
Preliminary Report: Highway HWY16MH005
Safety Recommendation Report: Addressing Motorcoach Driver Seat Design to Prevent Separation in a Crash
Highway Accident Report: Motorcoach Collision with Crash Attenuator in Gore Area US Highway 101, San Jose, CA
Addressee(s) and Addressee Status:
Motor Coach Industries International, Inc. (Open - Await Response)
Safety Recommendation History
Motor Coach Industries International, Inc.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is an independent federal agency charged by Congress with investigating every civil aviation accident in the United States and significant accidents in other modes of transportation—railroad, highway, marine, and pipeline. The NTSB determines the probable cause of the accidents and issues safety recommendations aimed at preventing future accidents. In addition, we carry out special studies concerning transportation safety and coordinate the resources of the federal government and other organizations to assist victims and their family members affected by major transportation disasters. We are providing the following information to urge Motor Coach Industries International, Inc. (MCI), to act on the safety recommendation being issued in this letter. We are investigating a motorcoach collision that occurred in the predawn hours of January 19, 2016, in San Jose, California. A 2014 MCI D4505 motorcoach, operated by Greyhound Lines, Inc., was traveling northbound on US Highway 101 when it entered and traveled in an unmarked 990-foot-long gore area, rather than the intended high-occupancy-vehicle lane, and collided with a crash attenuator. Following the impact, the bus traveled another 65 feet, rolled 90 degrees, and came to rest on its right side atop a concrete barrier, straddling two lanes of traffic. As a result of the crash, two passengers were ejected and died, and the driver and 13 passengers were injured. During our investigation of this crash, NTSB investigators identified a potential problem with the driver seat attachment. Additional information about this finding and the resulting recommendation may be found at the NTSB website, under safety recommendation report number NTSB/HSR-17/01.1 We are issuing the following safety recommendation in advance of release of the highway accident report: H-17-1 Evaluate and, if appropriate, modify the driver and passenger floor structure design on new motorcoaches to prevent driver seat separation during crashes. This safety recommendation is derived from the NTSB investigation and is consistent with the evidence we found and the analysis we performed. Then-Chairman HART, Vice Chairman DINH-ZARR, and Members SUMWALT and WEENER concurred in this recommendation. The NTSB is vitally interested in this recommendation because it is designed to prevent accidents and save lives. We would appreciate receiving a response from you within 90 days detailing the actions you have taken or intend to take to implement it. When replying, please refer to the safety recommendation by number. We encourage you to submit your response electronically to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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