Following an investigation into a fatal crash, the NTSB has recommended that truckers be tested for synthetic marijuana use.
Fatal Crash Brings Scrutiny To Synthetic Marijuana Use
The crash happened on I-35 near Davis, Oklahoma, in September of 2014. The truck driver, Russell Staley of Texas, crossed over a median and hit a bus carrying softball players, killing four women before coming to rest in a grove of trees. Investigators say that the gas pedal was fully depressed when the truck hit the trees.
Investigators found a pipe with synthetic marijuana residue in the truck. Staley had a history of smoking synthetic marijuana. Authorities say that he did not make an attempt to brake or swerve prior to the crash.
None of the bus passengers wore seat belts and all of the women killed were fully or partially ejected from the bus.
NTSB: Need Research and Testing for Synthetic Drug Use
The NTSB recommended tougher testing for synthetic marijuana, but they admit that that goal will be hard to accomplish because current drug testing methods have a hard time confirming its presence. Further, scientists haven’t done enough research to understand how long synthetic marijuana stays in a person’s system.
The NTSB also recommends making seat belts mandatory on busses.
Staley is facing four charges of manslaughter.