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When does the NTSB get involved with crashes?

Question: When does the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) get involved with crashes?

Answer: The Minnesota State Patrol notifies the NTSB on the following types of crashes.

• School bus injuries or death to student passengers.

• Public or charter bus crashes resulting in death or injury to occupants.

• Railway crossing crashes resulting in two or more deaths, or involving a Commercial Motor Vehicle.

• Heavy truck crashes resulting in two or more deaths.

• Crashes resulting in five or more deaths.

The NTSB will then determine if they are going to send a team to investigate. NTSB investigators employ procedures similar to those utilized by law enforcement. NTSB safety investigations, while concurrent, are also independent of law enforcement investigations.

Those involved in injury and fatal crashes generally include (when applicable); Law Enforcement, Fire, EMS, Medical Examiner/Coroner, State and Federal Occupational and Safety Health Administration (OSHA) along with other emergency services agencies. Depending on the type of unit(s) involved in the crash, other agencies may also be involved:

Aviation Accidents

• Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)

Rail/Transit Accidents

• Federal Railroad Administration (FRA)

• Federal Transit Administration (FTA)

Marine Accidents

• United States Coast Guard

• State or local waterway or harbor police

Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Accidents

• Pipeline and Hazards Materials Safety Agency (PHMSA)

• State pipeline regulator

• Minnesota Duty Officer

The NTSB Transportation Disaster Assistance Division (TDA) has developed a brochure for law enforcement and public safety personnel explaining how to support the NTSB during the on-scene phase of an aviation accident investigation, ntsb.gov/tda/TDADocuments/SPC0402.pdf.

A portion of state statutes were used with permission from the Office of the Revisor of Statutes. If you have any questions concerning traffic related laws or issues in Minnesota, send your questions to Trp. Jesse Grabow — Minnesota State Patrol at 1000 Highway 10 West, Detroit Lakes, MN 56501-2205. (You can follow him on Twitter @MSPPIO_NW or reach him at, jesse.grabow@state.mn.us).

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