Fifth Person Dies in Seattle Duck Boat Crash

28 Sep 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Duck boat in Seattle crash didn’t have recommended fix, NTSB says.

A duck boat involved in a deadly Seattle traffic crash did not have an axle repair that was recommended for the amphibious vehicle in 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board said Sunday. SEATTLE (AP) – State lawmakers are asking transportation officials how to improve safety on Seattle’s Aurora Bridge, where a crash between an amphibious Ride the Ducks vehicle and a charter bus Thursday killed four people and injured dozens. Reuven Carlyle said he’s drafting a letter from lawmakers calling on the city and state transportation departments to analyze options for making the bridge safer, The Seattle Times reported (http://is.gd/6H4zC5). Investigators said Saturday that the left front axle of the duck boat was sheared off, but they hadn’t determined if that damage happened before the collision or during it.

In 2003 the state DOT recommended moving the bridge’s sidewalks below the road deck, to allow wider car lanes and a 2-foot-wide median barrier, at a cost of $29?million. Carlyle mentioned several possible safety improvements for the bridge, including reducing the 40 mph speed limit, installing signs to remind people to drive more slowly, reducing the bridge from six lanes to four to provide for more room per lane, installing a median barrier or implementing the full 2003 recommendation. The rate of crashes on the bridge is only about that on the rest of Aurora Avenue North, which is to be expected, as other stretches have more intersections, traffic lights, turning vehicles and pedestrians.

For the entire roadway from South Lake Union to the north city limit, there were 5,545 crashes in the same period, causing 3,538 injuries and at least 22 deaths. Barb Graff, Seattle’s director of the Office Emergency Management, said a private location has been established for families of the deceased and injured, where city, county and Red Cross workers are offering assistance and mental health counseling. Several hotels in Seattle are making rooms available to the families free of charge, Graff said, and Delta and Alaska airlines are helping with flights.

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