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NTSB report says big rig failed to slow for traffic, triggering pileup crash that killed 10


This week, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) released an initial report on a horrific pileup crash that left multiple children dead in Alabama in June 2021.

The crash occurred on June 19, 2021, around 2:20 p.m. on northbound I-65 near Greenville, Alabama.

The crash ultimately involved 12 vehicles and left a total of 10 people dead, including 8 children traveling with the Tallapoosa County Girls Ranch, a group that assists needy, neglected, or abused children. A baby and a father in an SUV traveling in an SUV were also killed. Twenty-six others were injured.

The NTSB report says that the crash began as a semi truck hauling an empty auto trailer approached the bridge over Pigeon Creek, near milepost 138, where traffic had come to a stop due to previous crashes.

Authorities say that the semi struck an SUV, then hit a transit van with a driver and 9 passengers.

After striking the van and other vehicles, the truck struck the left bridge rail and continued into the median beyond the north end of the bridge, coming to rest with a portion of its trailer in the roadway.

The SUV overturned and struck several other vehicles in the traffic queue before coming to rest in the roadway.

A second semi truck came upon the stopped vehicles, veered left, struck and mounted the left bridge rail, struck the van, and came to rest in the median.

The van also came to rest in the median, facing south, between the two semi trucks. As a result of the multiple collisions, a fire ensued, consuming the semi trucks, the van, and three other vehicles.

The NTSB noted that “there had been intermittent bands of rain of varying intensity throughout the day, and a light rain was falling at the time of the crash.”

“The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) continues to collect data on the crash sequence, the postcrash fire, the weather conditions and precipitation amounts, and the operations of the motor carriers. All aspects of the crash remain under investigation as the NTSB determines the probable cause with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar crashes,” the report concluded.

The NTSB says that it will continue to work with law enforcement partners including the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency (ALEA), FMCSA, and the Alabama Department of Transportation in investigating the fatal crash.


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