RAILROAD/HIGHWAY ACCIDENT REPORT--GRADE CROSSING COLLISION OF A FLORIDA EAST COAST RAILWAY COMPANY FREIGHT TRAIN AND AN INDIAN RIVER ACADEMY SCHOOLBUS, PORT ST. LUCIE, FLORIDA, SEPTEMBER 27, 1984

About 6:55 a.m., on September 27, 1984, a northbound Florida East Coast Railway Company freight train struck a westbound Indian River Academy schoolbus stalled at a grade crossing on Walton Road in Port St. Lucie, Florida. The grade crossing was a two-lane, asphalt-paved, county road intersecting a single railroad track with automatic flashing signals and gates. The 1968 Bluebird/Chevrolet 66-passenger schoolbus was occupied by the driver and four students. Two of the students fled the stopped schoolbus before impact and were not injured. In the collision, the schoolbus body separated from the chassis, and the three remaining occupants were ejected. The two students were killed, and the busdriver was injured seriously. Neither of the two train crewmembers was injured. The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of this accident was the inadequate standards for certifying nonpublic schoolbus drivers, insufficient training and testing programs, and the limited experience of the schoolbus driver, which led to the intrusion of the schoolbus onto the railroad track when the driver misshifted the transmission. Contributing to the accident was the absence of a stop line on the westbound approach to the grade crossing. Contributing to the severity of the accident was the engineer's delay in applying the train brakes and the locked deadbolt on the rear emergency door of the schoolbus.

  • Corporate Authors:

    National Transportation Safety Board

    Bureau of Field Operations, 800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20594
  • Publication Date: 1985-6-12

Media Info

  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos;
  • Pagination: 52 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00495576
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB/RHR-85/01, HS-039 453
  • Files: HSL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Jul 31 1990 12:00AM