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Texas Bus Crash Caused By Tire Puncture

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By Minara El-Rahman on November 03, 2009 9:13 AM

A tire puncture was found to be the cause of a deadly crash in Sherman, TX in August of 2008. The bus was heading to Carthage, MO from Houston, TX. The passengers were planning on attending a Catholic festival.

The tire on the bus blew out just as it was approaching a curve on a bridge. This caused the bus to go over the railing and fall off the bridge into a creek.

According to the Washington Post: "On Tuesday, NTSB investigators said a slow leak left the bus's tires severely underinflated, causing the blowout."

A probe by the National Transportation Safety Board discovered that a retreaded tire on the vehicle's right front axle had failed.

Associated Press reports, "The NTSB investigation found that a retreaded tire on the vehicle's right front axle failed. Federal regulations prohibit retreads from being affixed to the front of buses. However, the NTSB determined that the retreading itself didn't cause the tire failure."

As a result of the accident, the daughter of one of the crash victims is calling for Congress to pass pending bus safety legislation: "We've all been devastated and are dealing with the aftermath of a crash that was totally preventable," said Yen-Chi Le of Houston.

The Washington Post also reports that safety board members criticized Texas regulators for lax oversight of the state's commercial vehicle inspection system, which conducts required federal safety checks.

NTSB investigators also found that the driver tested positive for cocaine and alcohol use.

17 people were killed and 39 people were injured in the crash.

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