NTSB: Lack of adequate highway markings led to deadly Greyhound bus crash in San Jose

In this photo taken Jan. 19, 2016, a Greyhound bus is seen where it came to rest atop a concrete lane barrier after colliding with a crash attenuator. Photo : California Highway Patrol.

 

SAN JOSE (KRON) — A lack of adequate highway markings by the State of California led to the deadly GreyHound bus crash in San Jose that killed two people in January, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Jan. 19 bus crash also injured 13 people plus the driver. The bus collided with a crash attenuator, which was not properly marked with a reflective sign, the NTSB said. It then rode up a barrier, rolled on its right side, and stopped at the top of the barrier with its undercarriage facing traffic.

The bus was exiting left from U.S. Highway 101 when the crash happened, according to the NTSB.

“In the rainy darkness of the early morning, with worn and missing highway markings, the driver thought he was in the exit lane. In fact, he was in the adjacent gore — the paved area between the main lane and the exit lane. Ahead of him was the unmarked, energy-absorbing barrier called a crash attenuator, and ahead of the attenuator was the concrete barrier. The California Department of Transportation did not mark the gore with stripes or chevrons, which are often used to differentiate the gore from the roadway,” the NTSB said.

The NTSB also said passengers not wearing a seatbelt contributed to the severity of the injuries. Only two of the 21 passengers were wearing them.

The two who died in the crash were not wearing their seatbelts and were ejected from the bus.

“This crash did not have to happen because the barrier that the bus hit should have been visible, even in the bad weather, but it was not,’’ NTSB Acting Chairman T. Bella Dinh-Zarr said. “Moreover, the crash would probably have resulted in fewer deaths and injuries if the occupants had worn their seat belts.”

The NTSB says chevrons should be painted in gore areas, left-exit signs should be improved, and GreyHound should brief passengers about the importance of wearing their seatbelts.

WEB LINKS:

Docket: https://dms.ntsb.gov/pubdms/search/hitlist.cfm?docketID=59562&CFID=1023924&CFTOKEN=1ad08810879e2ae5-D54D0C1B-C429-3E1B-F5D3ED0085E3D17F

More documents: https://www.ntsb.gov/news/events/Pages/2017_sanjose_ca_BMG.aspx

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