Federal investigators to investigate fatal Phoenix tanker crash

Federal security officials say they will investigate an accident in which officials say a speeding milk tanker collided with seven passenger vehicles on the Phoenix Freeway, killing four people and killing at least nine. were injured.

PHOENIX – Federal security officials said Thursday they will investigate an accident in which a speeding milk tanker collided with seven passenger vehicles on a Phoenix highway, killing four and killing at least nine. were injured.

The wreckage arrived late Wednesday after the tanker “failed to slow down the traffic congestion,” the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a statement.

The National Transportation Safety Board said it is sending nine investigators to conduct a safety investigation into the accident in cooperation with the Arizona Department of Public Safety.

Board spokesman Chris O’Neill said issues that NTSB investigators will study include whether the accident could have been prevented had the tanker been equipped with electronic safety equipment. “Automatic emergency braking is definitely something we want to see,” he said.

The Phoenix Fire Department said in a statement that six of the nine people injured in the crash were taken to hospitals in critical condition. Four men and two women were between the ages of 22 and 45. Details of the four people killed were not immediately released.

The state’s Department of Public Safety said that after initial collisions, the trailer of the tanker rig broke apart and climbed the middle wall of the highway and ended up on its side in lanes going in the opposite direction.

The department said officials ruled out the possibility of the truck being damaged. The truck driver has not been identified.

Currently, there is no federal requirement that the Semi have forward collision warning or automatic emergency braking, even though the systems are becoming common on small passenger vehicles.

The systems use cameras and sometimes radar to spot objects in front of a vehicle, and they either alert the driver or slow down and even stop the vehicle if it hits something. Is going to do.

O’Neill said investigators would determine whether the tanker had any advanced safety equipment and, if so, how it performed in the crash. If it didn’t have the system in place, they would determine whether “collision avoidance techniques would have reduced the severity or prevented it altogether,” he said.

The NTSB has investigated several accidents involving large trucks stalling or slowing down traffic, he said. In early 2015, the NTSB recommended that manufacturers immediately include electronic security systems as standard equipment. At the time, the agency said the system could prevent or reduce more than 80% of rear-end collisions that cause about 1,700 deaths and half a million injuries annually.

Twenty automakers, representing 99% of US new passenger vehicle sales, signed a voluntary agreement with the government in 2016 to make the feature standard on all light vehicles by September 1, 2022, and many automakers are moving toward that goal. have been

O’Neill said the team that visited the crash site included members with experience in motor carriers, highway design, occupant safety, human performance, vehicle factoring and technical accident reconstruction.

He said investigators would also try to find out whether the driver’s distraction played any role.

Investigators typically stay on the scene for five to 10 days, and they publish a preliminary report 30 to 90 days after they finish their field work. It usually takes 12 to 24 months for the test to be completed.


Krischer reported from Detroit.


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