Tishomingo Crash Investigation

Published: 03/25/2022, 1:18 AM

(TISHOMINGO, Okla.) At approximately 12:30 p.m. on March 22, 2022, in Tishomingo, a 1994 Peterbilt truck-tractor in combination with a dump semi-trailer loaded with gravel was traveling southbound on United States Highway 377 (US-377) approaching the intersection of Oklahoma State Highway 22 (SH-22). At the same time, a 2015 Chevrolet Spark passenger vehicle, occupied by a teenage driver and five teenage passengers, was traveling eastbound on SH-22 approaching US-377. At this location, the intersection is controlled by a stop sign regulating traffic on SH-22. The posted speed limit for US-377 is 50 mph.

The Tishomingo Police Department requested the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Traffic Homicide Unit (THU) investigate the collision. Members documented the scene with ground and aerial photos, and interviews were conducted. THU worked closely with the Oklahoma Medical Examiner Investigators to identify victims and conduct next of kin notifications.

The vehicles were stored indoors, and both vehicles' post-vehicle collision inspections were conducted. An event data recorder was removed, with consent, from the Chevrolet Spark. The data was imaged with a software program, and a report was produced. The data from the event data recorder was consistent with witness statements.

Witnesses reported the Chevrolet stopped behind another vehicle at the stop sign but did not itself stop at the stop sign and entered US-377 attempting a left turn. The combination vehicle struck the front-left of the Chevrolet in the southbound lane, pushing it off the roadway to the southwest. The combination vehicle then departed the roadway and came to rest in a private driveway on the east side of US-377. As a result of the crash, all six occupants in the Chevrolet were killed; the truck driver was uninjured.

A preliminary case review will be submitted to the US Attorney's Office in the Eastern District for review.

In coordination with the Oklahoma Highway Patrol's Traffic Homicide Unit, the National Transportation Safety Board sent a team of four investigators and a family assistance specialist to Oklahoma on Wednesday, March 23. The investigators will be looking at the following issues:

Highway -- The environmental factors involved in a crash include the roadway condition, signage, geometric design of the highway, lighting, weather condition, traffic volumes, and accident histories. The group also evaluates the highway infrastructure for adequacy of roadside barriers and compliance with various design manuals.

Human performance -- The performance of the human operators involved in the accident and looks at all 'before-the-accident' factors that might be involved in human error, including fatigue, medication, alcohol, drugs, medical histories, training, workload, equipment design, and work environment.

Motor carrier -- The operations of the driver and motor carrier. This includes an examination of the motor carrier's compliance to applicable federal and/or state regulations and the oversight of the involved companies by Federal and state authorities. Investigators may also review the carrier's overall safety culture and related safety programs involving driving operations, fatigue management, vehicle maintenance, and driver fitness for duty.

Reconstruction -- Mapping and documenting the scene and the vehicles involved in the crash and analyzing physical evidence and vehicle damage to reconstruct the crash events.


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