Brake problems, lack of training blamed in Pennsylvania crash

| 2/8/2006

The NTSB has ruled that a lack of driver training – combined with brake problems – was the probable cause in an April 2003 truck wreck that killed a mother and daughter at a Pennsylvania school bus stop.

The Associated Press reported that the truck, owned by Blossom Valley Farms Inc., hit four cars in Glen Rock, PA, after the driver lost control on a steep, slippery road. Michelle Moser, 33, and her 11-year-old daughter Amber, were killed.

The driver of the truck, 21-year-old Jaysen Newton, had only worked for the company for about two weeks and had received no training on how to drive an air brake-equipped vehicle, according to the report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

The report also said that, although Newton had likely used cocaine and heroin in the days before the crash, it was unknown if he was impaired at the time of the crash.

Citing the accident as an example, the NTSB made 11 safety recommendations to the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, state and local governments, the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance, Haldex Brake Products Corp., and the major truck manufacturers.

The recommendations called for an increase in driver training, specifically in regard to vehicles equipped with air brakes. The report encouraged states to adopt an air brake endorsement for CDLs that would require the training and testing of drivers who operate air brake-equipped vehicles.