WASHINGTON — The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will hold a virtual public board meeting at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Daylight Saving Time on March 28 to determine the probable cause of the 2021 four-fatality, multi-vehicle collision in Phoenix involving a tanker truck and several passenger vehicles.
The board will discuss these five safety issues:
- Motor carrier’s safety culture.
- Driver’s fatigue and the agricultural hours-of-service exemption.
- Prioritization of messages displayed on dynamic message signs.
- Occupant protection.
- Collision avoidance technologies.
The wreck happened at 10:07 p.m. Mountain Standard Time on June 9, 2021, in the eastbound lanes of State Route Loop 202 (SR-202, Red Mountain Freeway), just east of mile marker 4 in Phoenix. according to an NTSB news release. In the area of the crash, SR-202 consists of five eastbound travel lanes with a posted speed limit of 65 mph.
The crash sequence began with an eastbound 2016 Freightliner Cascadia driven by a 47-year-old male driver, according to the news release.
The combination unit, operated by Arizona Milk Transport, Inc., was transporting milk from a local dairy to the United Dairymen of Arizona cooperative plant.
At mile marker 4, just beyond the off-ramp for the 52nd Street exit, the truck driver did not stop for slowed traffic that had formed a queue in the far-right lane, and the rig struck multiple vehicles.
During the collision sequence, the truck crossed all four travel lanes to the left, struck the center median barrier, then crossed back to the right before coming to rest in the far-left eastbound lane. When the rig struck the center median barrier, the tanker separated from the tractor, overrode the barrier, then landed in the westbound shoulder and adjacent left travel lane, according to the NTSB.
A postcrash fire ensued, and the Freightliner and a 2021 Chevrolet Equinox sport utility vehicle were consumed by the fire.
Four died and 10 were transported to the hospital.
A total of eight vehicles were involved in the collision. The struck vehicles included: the 2021 Chevrolet Equinox (the driver died); a 2016 Ford Fusion (the driver and one passenger died and two passengers were injured); a 2015 Nissan Altima (one passenger died; the driver and three passengers were injured); a 2013 Toyota Prius (the driver was injured); a 2013 Lexus CT200H (the driver was injured); a 2015 Dodge Charger (the driver and a passenger were injured); and a 2018 Mercedes C300W (the driver and a passenger were injured).
The truck driver was not injured.
“All aspects of the crash remain under investigation while the NTSB determines the probable cause, with the intent of issuing safety recommendations to prevent similar events,” the news release stated. “The NTSB is working alongside the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) to compile a complete and accurate account of the crash. In addition to the AZDPS, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the United Dairymen of Arizona are parties to the investigation.”
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.