Report blames driver error for cause of Brockton bus crash

Report blames driver error for cause of Brockton bus crash

BROCKTON, Mass. — An investigation conducted by the Brockton Area Transit Authority (BAT) found driver error was the cause of a bus crash in November.

Boston 25 News obtained a copy of the collision investigation memo dated January 3, 2019.

The bus collided with a fire hydrant at the corner of Heath and East Streets, then traveled another seventy-feet before slamming into a tree in front of a home on East Street around 8:30 a.m. on November 29, 2018. The investigation found the bus was going 34-miles-an-hour at the time and the driver never made any attempt to hit the breaks or turn the bus.

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It took firefighters nearly two hours to free the trapped driver from the bus. She was then flown to a hospital in Boston to be treated for serious injuries.

Two passengers on the bus were taken to a hospital to be treated for their injuries. They were released the same day.

BAT Safety Manager Damon Rivard and Transit Operations Manager Kelly Forrester reviewed surveillance video from on board the bus the morning of the crash. They reported the video showed the driver wasn’t distracted and her hands remained on the steering wheel.

The memo stated the weather at the time of the crash was clear and dry with bright sun. Also, no traffic, pedestrians, bicyclists or animals were on the road prior to the crash.

No pre-trip inspection was performed, but a review of the bus by BAT Maintenance Supervisor Robert Bullock found no evidence of mechanical failure.

“The video evidence indicates there was no driver distraction (such as cell phone use), the lack of environmental factors, the absence of a medical evidence, and the elimination of mechanical failures leaves the investigation with the conclusion that operator error was the primary cause for the crash of bus 1704 at 408 East Street in Brockton.”

The memo from Rivard stated his investigation determined “the collision was preventable and the circumstances make it chargeable.”

Boston 25 News reached out to Brockton Police to see if the driver will be cited and to BAT Administrator Ray Ledoux for a statement on the investigation’s findings.