1958 Crash, Historical Perspectives 1 of 4

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We have experienced overwhelmingly deadly crashes as an industry.
  • A 1963 a bus and train crash in California resulted in the death of 29
  • 13 years later (1976) 29 people died in the Yuba City bus disaster
  • Two crashes in Kentucky resulted in 27 fatalities each, one in Carrollton (1988) and one in Prestonburg.

On February 28, 1958, a bus carrying elementary and high school students rearended a wrecker on US Route 23. The bus careened down an embankment into the Levisa Fork, Big Sandy River. The heavy rains and thaw that year had resulted in the waters being high and dangerous. The bus was swept away and eventually submerged.

There were 48 students on the bus, and 22 of them escaped the bus in the first few minutes after it entered the water. 26 other students and the bus driver drowned. It took Navy divers to locate and remove the bus from the river.

At issue in both Kentucky crashes, this one and the Carrollton crash in 1988, were evacuations of the vehicles. Victims were thought to have all survived the initial incident, but were unable to get out of the buses afterward.

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