Arizona Bus Crash May Have Been Caused by Faulty Brakes

Arizona Bus Crash May Have Been Caused by Faulty BrakesThe school bus crash that occurred in Peoria, Arizona, on Monday, April 16, may have been caused by an improperly installed brake system, officials with the Arizona Department of Public Safety have announced.

According to The Associated Press, at least five people, both children and adults, had to be taken to a hospital in Phoenix after the school bus was involved in a chain-reaction crash. DPS spokesman Bart Graves said all of the injured had to be treated for minor injuries. The school bus driver allegedly told police officers that his brakes failed to work as he exited Loop 101.

The bus struck a pickup waiting at a red light, which then hit a sedan that was also stopped at the intersection. The school bus was traveling to Sunnyside Elementary School.

Now, the new brake system that was recently installed on the bus is being investigated by the DPS, which says the system may have been improperly installed, the Arizona Republic reports.

Graves stated that the accident is still under investigation as officials work to determine the exact cause. In a post-collision inspection, Graves said the bus appeared to stop normally when the brakes were applied. However, the inspection did find that the rear brakes were out of adjustment that may have been caused by a missing implement that helps keep the entire system in place.

“Our inspection shows that because of the brake defects that were found, it could have possibly caused diminished braking,” Graves said.

DPS says it believes the new brakes were installed after the Commercial Vehicle Enforcement bureau assessed and passed the bus, which is required by Arizona law, on March 20. The inspector who signed off on the assessment in March also performed the investigation after the accident, and concluded the brakes are new, according to the Republic.

At the time of the March inspection, investigators noted the bus’ brakes had an air-leak problem, and ordered it to be discontinued until the problem was fixed, Graves said. After one day, the leak was repaired and the bus was given the OK to be used on the road again.

“These new brakes were put on after our inspection and whoever put it on missed a step,” Graves said.

According to the Arizona Department of Transportation, there were 12,382 accidents involving trucks and buses across the state in 2010, resulting in 2,150 injuries.