Ask a Trooper: When does the NTSB get involved

Published 8:06 am Wednesday, August 2, 2017

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.

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—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

As you can see, many different investigators and agencies can respond and investigate certain types of incidents depending on where, when, how and what was involved. Law enforcement agencies throughout the country understand that teamwork is very important in all incidents and investigations.

You can avoid a ticket — and a crash — if you simply buckle up, drive at safe speeds, pay attention and always drive sober.  Help us drive Minnesota Toward Zero Deaths.

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 Sgt. Troy Christianson – Minnesota State Patrol at 2900 48th Street NW, Rochester MN 55901-5848.  (Or reach him at, Twitter:MSPPIO_SOUTH