In a rare move, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has decided to investigate a fatal school bus accident that took place February 15 in Centersville, Louisiana.
About the NTSB Investigation
A six person investigative team arrived to Acadiana Sunday, and is expected to stay a few more days.
Peter Knudson, a public information officer for the NSTB, told the Daily Advertiser that the NTSB normally does not investigate auto accidents, claiming the agency investigates “about one in a million, about a dozen a year.”
The agency decided to investigate this particular accident because it involves several safety issues that are of interest, such as “occupant protection.”
Other issues being investigated are restraint systems and crash-readiness of the vehicles involving their specific vehicle systems. The tire failure, lack of median barrier, and high speeds on the rural highway are also being taken into consideration.
Knudson also assured that the NTSB is “not investigating to find fault or assign blame” as the information will be used for a larger safety study. The students involved in the accideent will be interviewed by the NTSB and the Louisiana State Police about the evacuation and available equipment.
Amy Dore, the bus driver, is being praised for successfully bringing the bus to a safe stop.
Background on the Louisiana Bus Accident
- A 2004 Kia Sorento was heading westbound on U.S. 90 near Centerville, Louisiana at about 11:40 a.m. when a tire failed.
- The SUV crossed the median and collided head-on with a bus carrying the Lafayette High School baseball team.
- The collision resulted in the deaths of a 36-year-old woman, a 16-year-old male, a 14-year-old male, and a 6-year-old child.
- The fourth passenger of the SUV, who was wearing his seatbelt, was taken to an area hospital and treated for minor injuries.
- Seven teenage students and a 23-year-old man riding the bus were also hospitalized and treated for injuries.