NTSB Investigating Deadly Tour Bus Crash Near Bryce Canyon

Sep 22, 2019, 7:41 PM | Updated: 11:30 pm

RICHFIELD, Utah – The National Transportation Safety Board began their investigation into the deadly tour bus crash carrying Chinese tourists in Bryce Canyon where four people were killed.

On Sunday, five people remained in critical condition.

In the initial briefing by the lead investigator for the crash, it was revealed the driver of the bus had only recently been hired and was on his first trip when the crash occurred.

“We look at a crash basically in three phases; the pre-crash condition, the crash condition, and the post-crash condition,” said Pete Kotowski, lead investigator for the NTSB.

The 10-member team is beginning the process of piecing together just what went wrong Friday.

In Sunday’s briefing they detailed the painstakingly precise method in which they work.

“Today our highway group examined the accident site, the roadway itself and we began documenting the roadway including the collision marks on the roadway,” Kotowski said.

They’ll also look at signage in the area, slope, and any environmental factors.

The NTSB confirms the tour bus was a 2017 “freightliner” midsize bus equipped to carry 37 passengers including the driver.

“So far, the carrier has been operating very freely with us and providing information and meeting our requests as asked,” he said.

The bus did have seat belts, though it’s still unclear how many passengers actually had them on.

The Utah Highway Patrol confirmed they had obtained a blood sample from the male driver.

“That driver has been released and has returned to his home in California and that’s why we have one of our investigators there now.”

The NTSB also said Sunday they will continue to work with the Chinese Consulate to ensure all passengers are properly cared for and interviewed before they return to China.

The preliminary investigation will be competed in the next couple of weeks, however a final report likely won’t be completed for 12 to 24 months.

“We have a very thorough but lengthy process,” Kotowski said.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Cottonwood High lines up for a free kick following a fair catch against Jordan High. (KSL Sports)...
Andrew Adams

Coach, kicker & official reflect on Cottonwood High’s rare, game-winning play

Cottonwood defeated Jordan High after the Colts attempted and converted a free kick for three points with 12 seconds left following a fair catch on a punt.
11 hours ago
Karah Brackin

Utah veterans head to DC for ‘trip of a lifetime’

75 veterans left Salt Lake City for Washington D.C. Tuesday morning.
11 hours ago
Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council, introduces himself as a member of a n...
Ashley Imlay, KSL.com & Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Supreme Court declines to hear Utah gun rights activist’s appeal to overturn bump stock ban

A prominent Utah gun rights activist has lost his bid to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the federal bump stock ban.
11 hours ago
Yvette Rodier, shooting survivor...
Amy Donaldson, KSL Podcasts

LETTER PODCAST: Victim says bullet wounds were easiest part of recovery

When Yvette Rodier woke up in a hospital, she knew, even before anyone told her, that her friend, Zachary Snarr, was dead.
11 hours ago
Housing construction....
Ladd Egan

Unaffordable Utah: Mortgage rates climb again as buyers look for price reductions

Utah's housing market is whiplashing as last year's buying frenzy seems to have slowed down to signs of a recession.
1 day ago
Matt Gephardt & Sloan Schrage

Get Gephardt: How cybercriminals use social engineering to get us to hand over our sensitive info

You can have the strongest password, but the bad guys know there is one weakness they can use to hack into your system - you!
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
NTSB Investigating Deadly Tour Bus Crash Near Bryce Canyon