WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will share findings from two fatal school bus crashes in a meeting next month, the agency announced on Monday.
NTSB has prepared a special investigation report that examines the November 2016 school bus crashes in Baltimore, Maryland, and Chattanooga, Tennessee.
In the Baltimore crash, a school bus struck a car and a pillar, entered oncoming traffic, and hit the driver’s side of a transit bus. The drivers of both buses and four transit bus passengers were killed. No students were aboard the school bus at the time.
In the Chattanooga crash, investigators determined that the school bus departed the roadway to the right, took out a mailbox, veered to the left, struck a utility pole, and then crashed on its side into a tree. Six students were killed and more than 30 were injured.
In related news, former school bus driver Johnthony Walker was sentenced on Tuesday to four years in prison for his role in the Chattanooga crash. He was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and more than two dozen lesser charges in March.
In both the Chattanooga and Baltimore incidents, questions were raised about the qualifications and past performance of the school bus drivers.
In a press release on Monday, NTSB said that its special investigative report on the two crashes “examines selective issues in school bus transportation safety discovered during the NTSB’s investigation.” The agency said that the report will detail the probable cause of each crash.
On May 22 at 9:30 a.m., NTSB will hold a meeting in which the agency’s board will consider the report.
“Despite the overall safety of school buses, the NTSB continues to investigate school bus crashes in which fatalities and injuries occur,” the agency said in the press release. “By combining both investigations into one comprehensive report, the NTSB is able to focus on specific areas of concern found in both crashes, which allows the agency to highlight where recommendations are needed to continue to improve school bus transportation safety.”
The meeting, which is open to the public, will be held in NTSB’s board room and conference center at 420 10th St. SW in Washington, D.C. A link to a live webcast of the meeting will be available shortly before the start of the meeting at ntsb.capitolconnection.org.
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