November 23, 2020

Driver was texting in Missouri traffic pileup

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FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2010 file photo, a rescue worker is seen at the scene of an accident involving two school buses, a tractor-trailer and another passenger vehicle, near Gray Summit, Mo. Federal safety investigators say a 19-year-old driver was texting at the time his pickup truck, two school buses and other vehicles collided in a deadly pileup on an interstate highway in Missouri last year. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released the information Monday. The board is scheduled to meet Tuesday to hear the results of an investigation into the accident near Gray Summit, Mo., and to make safety recommendations. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — A 19-year-old driver was texting just before his pickup truck, two school buses and a tractor truck collided in a deadly pileup on an interstate highway in Missouri last year, the National Transportation Safety Board said Monday.

Two people — the pickup driver and a 15-year-old student on one of the buses — were killed and 38 others were injured in the Aug. 5, 2010 accident on the interstate highway near Gray Summit, Mo. Nearly 50 students, mostly members of a high school band from St. James, Mo., were on the buses heading to the Six Flags St. Louis amusement park.

The chain of rear end collisions began when the pickup truck rammed the back of the tractor truck, the board said. The pickup was then rear-ended by a school bus, which was in turn struck by the second bus.

The board is scheduled to meet Tuesday to hear the results of an investigation into the accident and to make safety recommendations. The meeting will focus on the “distractive effects of portable electronic devices when used by drivers,” the board said in a statement.

The board has previously recommended bans on texting and cell phone use by commercial drivers, but has stopped short of calling for a ban on the use of the devices by adults behind the wheel of passenger cars.

 

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