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Investigation into Chesterfield bus crash continues

Authorities continue to look for explanations after a dump truck hit a school bus in Chesterfield in February. Officials say that it could take a year or more to determine the causes of the truck accident.

Initial reports indicate that the semi truck was 5 percent over its 80,000 pound weight limit. The National Transportation Safety Board has said that poor sight lines at the intersection may have also contributed to the accident.

There were 25 children on the bus at the time, and authorities say that is it unclear whether or not they were using the seatbelts on the bus. Most of the students and both drivers sustained only minor injuries. One child has died and two others were hospitalized with serious injuries.

No charges have been filed against either driver. Toxicology test results on blood samples from both drivers should be available shortly. The bus driver says that the intersection had poor visibility and that he couldn’t see the truck coming until it was too late.

“Our mission is to understand not just what happened, but why it happened, and to recommend changes to prevent accidents of this nature from happening,” said an NTSB spokesman.

Once the investigation is complete, it is likely that the NTSB will have determined if one or more individuals or companies were at fault for this crash. Depending on the results, the children who were injured may be able to recover for their injuries from the bus company or the trucking company, or from the drivers themselves.

Source: NJ.com, “Feds: Truck in Chesterfield bus crash was overloaded,” Feb. 25, 2012.

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