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April 07, 2000  |   Comments (0)   |   Post a comment

Report: Bus driver ignored train’s whistle, traffic signs


The Tennessee Highway Patrol has released a report on the investigation of the March 28 school bus-train collision on the Tennessee-Georgia border. According to the Associated Press, the report says that the bus driver ignored the train’s whistle and disobeyed traffic signs at the crossing. Driver Rhonda Cloer, whose daughter remains in critical condition as a result of the accident, refuses to talk to investigators. Her lawyer, Greg Melton, told the Associated Press that the driver will not talk until she is allowed to view the videotape from the bus. Police will not release the videotape, which is being used as evidence in the investigation. Polk County District Attorney Jerry Estes will decide if charges will be filed against the driver. According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the manufacturer inspected the bus’ antilock braking system and determined it was working properly. Inspector Ken Suydam said that the train engineer sounded the whistle at the appropriate distance and for a full eight seconds prior to impact. The train’s data recorder indicates that it was traveling at 51 mph, within the 60-mph speed limit.

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