Highway Accident Report: Motorcoach Collision With the Alexandria Avenue Bridge Overpass, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Alexandria, Virginia, November 14, 2004

On November 14, 2004, about 9:30 a.m., eastern standard time, a 44-year-old bus driver departed the Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, operating a 2000 Prevost, 58-passenger motorcoach owned by Eyre Bus Service, Inc., (Eyre) for an approximately 60-mile trip to Mount Vernon, Virginia. This vehicle was the second one of a two-bus team. About 10:40 a.m., the bus was traveling southbound in the right lane of the George Washington Memorial Parkway in Alexandria, Virginia, at an electronic control module–recorded speed of approximately 46 mph. Upon approaching the Alexandria Avenue bridge, the bus driver passed warning signs indicating that the bridge had a 10-foot, 2- inch clearance in the right lane. The driver remained in the right lane and drove the 12-foot-high bus under the bridge, colliding with the underside and side of the overpass. At the time of the accident, the 13-foot, 4-inch-high left lane was available to the bus, and the lead Eyre bus was in the left lane ahead of the accident bus. Witnesses and the bus driver himself reported that the bus driver was talking on a hands-free cellular telephone at the time of the accident. Of the 27 student passengers, 10 received minor injuries and 1 sustained serious injuries. The bus driver and chaperone were uninjured. The bus’s roof was destroyed. Major safety issues identified in this accident include low bridge clearance, cellular telephone use while driving, and collection of adequate cellular telephone accident data. As a result of this accident, the Safety Board makes recommendations to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, the 50 States and the District of Columbia, the American Bus Association, the United Motorcoach Association, the Community Transportation Association of America, the American Public Transportation Association, the National Association for Pupil Transportation, the National School Transportation Association, the National Association of State Directors of Pupil Transportation Services, the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, and the Amalgamated Transit Union. The Safety Board also reiterates Safety Recommendation H-03-09 to the 20 States that do not yet have driver distraction codes on their traffic accident investigation forms.


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Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Tables;
  • Pagination: 48p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01051426
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Report/Paper Numbers: NTSB/HAR-06/04, Notation 7845A, HS-043 980
  • Files: HSL, TRIS
  • Created Date: Jun 6 2007 2:25PM