The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) announced today that a semitractor-trailer driver’s fatigue contributed to a 2015 multi-vehicle crash near Chattanooga, Tennessee, in which six people died and four were injured. Although the truck driver had an opportunity for overnight rest before the crash, he had likely gone without sustained rest for 40 hours prior to the accident.

The NTSB determined that the truck driver did not respond to slowed traffic caused by a lane closure in a road construction work zone, maintaining a speed of 78 – 82 mph before slamming into the rear of a car. The truck continued forward and collided with seven additional vehicles, forcing them into subsequent collisions. A post-crash fire consumed one vehicle.

The NTSB public meeting report is available online, and the full report will be available on the NTSB website in several weeks. Reducing fatigue-related accidents is one of the priorities identified on the NTSB’s 2016 Most Wanted List.

A drowsy truck driver caused a crash that killed six people near Chattanooga, Tennessee, on June 25, 2015. (Photo credit: NTSB)