Last month, the National Transportation Safety Board determined that distracted driving was the cause of the 2014 crash between two school buses in Knoxville, Tennessee, which killed two students and an instructional aide.
“The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the Dec. 2, 2014, collision between two school buses near Knoxville, Tennessee, was the late reaction and subsequent loss of control by the driver of bus No. 44 when he swerved to avoid traffic stopped ahead of him due to distraction caused by his reading a text message on his cell phone while driving,” the report stated.
The investigation into the events that led to the Dec. 2 crash showed that bus No. 44 was traveling eastbound on Asheville Highway when the vehicle made a sharp left turn and crossed a concrete median, hitting school bus 57, which flipped on its side and slid before coming to a stop. The crash killed three passengers on bus No. 57: Zykia Burns, 6; Seraya Glasper, 7; and Kimberly Riddle, 46. A total of 30 people, including the driver, James Davenport, were injured.
Although the focus of the investigation was “human performance issues” related to distracted driving, the NTSB also took highway and vehicle conditions into account.
The findings of the federal investigation mirror the ones from the Knoxville Police Department released last year. The KPD collaborated with the NTSB for the federal investigation.
“The results of the investigation have shown that the driver of bus No. 44, Mr. Davenport, was driving while distracted due to sending and receiving text messages,” read a statement released at the time . According to authorities, Davenport sent and received multiple messages in the moments prior to the crash.
Davenport died in 2015 of unrelated causes.