The driver of a
truck that was involved in a 2003 crash in Montana that killed three teenagers
and their driver’s education teacher has been exonerated.
In a Highway
Accident Brief released last month, the National Transportation Safety Board
concluded that the driver and his truck were not at fault in the crash. The
wreck was instead caused by the inexperience of the 14-year-old driver of the
driver’s education car, who lost control on slushy roadways.
Both the truck
driver and the teen tested negative for alcohol and illicit drugs, the report
occurred on Jan. 23, 2003, when the car – a 1997 Oldsmobile Achieva – caught a
patch of accumulated slush on Amsterdam Road near Belgrade, MT. According to
the report, the vehicle, which was estimated to have been traveling 35 to 45
mph, began to fishtail and veered into the truck’s lane.
The truck driver
said he steered to the left to avoid the collision, but struck the vehicle on
its right side. The collision caused the Oldsmobile to spin out of control and
slide down the south side of the roadway.
determined that all four passengers in the car were killed by blunt force
trauma injuries and chest wounds. The accident pushed in the right side of the
car 24 inches into the passenger area.