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Driver Fatigue Caused Deadly Coach Crash

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A coach crash in the Tarragona area of Freginals in March in which 13 Erasmus students were killed and another 40 injured, was caused by driver fatigue, according to the investigation by the Catalan police.

Driver Fatigue Caused Deadly Coach Crash

According to the investigation, on the approach to the crash scene, the vehicle was recorded travelling at 100 kilometres per hour, then decelerating for no reason to around 74 kilometres per hour for no apparent reason, and accelerating back up to 100. Evidence from the road also indicates that the vehicle struck the rumble strips at the side of the road on a number of occasions, which would also be around the time the deceleration stopped and the vehicle accelerated once again.

The conclusion by crash investigators is that these factors are typical of a driver falling asleep at the wheel and so deceleration occurs on account of the inability to maintain pressure on the accelerator, the collision with the rumble strips then waking the driver up, prompting the acceleration, although still dazed and confused, and failing to acknowledge the severity of drowsiness at the time, and so the process continued until the catastrophic crash.

The evidence collated from the vehicle and scene is also corroborated by witnesses, as some of the passengers on the bus reported feeling like the driver was falling asleep and hitting the rumble strips.

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