Safety

Site of fatal school bus crash converted to traffic circle

Posted on July 15, 2014

CHESTERFIELD, N.J. — Times of Trenton reports that the intersection where one student was killed and 17 others were injured when a dump truck struck their school bus in 2012 has been reconstructed into a traffic circle. The intersection was previously controlled by a two-way stop sign.

On the morning of Feb. 16 as the bus was headed to Chesterfield Elementary School, a dump truck had the right of way when the school bus pulled into its path, according to the newspaper. Investigators said the bus driver, John Tieman, should have seen the dump truck coming from where he was stopped. The truck struck the side of the bus near the rear wheel, causing it to spin and strike a pole.

As SBF previously reported, the National Transportation Safety Board also cited several factors that contributed to the severity of the crash, including the bus driver's poor sleep habits, the truck driver's traveling above the posted speed limit, the overloading of the truck and problems with the brake system on the truck. In November 2013, the Burlington County Prosecutor’s Office announced that the degree of negligent conduct from the many parties involved was not sufficient enough to bring criminal charges against either driver, as previously reported by SBF.

There were 15 accidents at the intersection between 2007 and 2011, according to Times of Trenton, but investigators determined that, based on the bus’s position, the layout of the intersection did not contribute to the 2012 accident. A plan to convert the intersection into a traffic circle began in 2007, Joseph Brickey, county director of public works and county engineer, told the newspaper.

To read the full story, click here.

Related Topics: driver fatigue, New Jersey, NTSB, school bus crash

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