'Ride the Ducks' vehicle, charter bus collide in Seattle

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rickycourtney

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I don't know about the duck vehicle, but the J4500 charter bus, a web integral semi monocoque motorcoach, has a tubular T304 stainless steel frame and a all-fiberglass (GFRP) exterior. The exterior panels are clipped onto the stainless tubes with nylon clips. The side windows are bonded (glued) onto the frame.
I'm sure this is something the NTSB will be looking into.
I'm still shocked nobody opened the emergency exit windows to escape. Most of the J4500 side windows are emergency exits windows.
I'm not sure why you're fixated on this.
It appears that after the crash the front door was still operable. That's a much better way for passengers to disembark since it doesn't involve dropping several feet down.

Furthermore, one whole side of the coach was ripped open like a tin can. It's possible passengers climbed out of that opening. In fact, rescuers were standing on the hood of the duck and using that opening to pull people out of the wreckage.
 

railiner

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Here's the story I worked on with our investigative team yesterday:

Decade-old advice on Aurora Bridge not heeded

The Aurora bridge has 6 narrow lanes (9-9.5 feet wide, standard is 10-12), with no median, no shoulders and semi-protected sidewalks on either side. There's no margin for error. The Washington State DOT knows this, has studied this and yet has not made any significant changes to the bridge.
Those would be very narrow lanes for a bridge carrying commercial vehicles that are 8.5 feet wide, and closer to ten feet over the edges of their side mirrors....

They should either restrict commercial traffic, or install a center divider, and eliminate a lane, making the remaining lanes wider....

I imagine this was not done after the earlier study account a combination of cost, and loss of a lane or two.....perhaps they'll reconsider now.....
 

The Davy Crockett

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Sorry to play the cynic, but it seems likely that what will happen is that a couple of million bucks will be spent on a multi-year study with the result, unless there are more tragedies during that period, that nothing changes. Commuters and businesses won't want a reduction in capacity, commercial transportation interests won't want to be prohibited from using the bridge, and the phenomenon known as 'issue attention cycle' will mean that the public and the news media will have moved on to other things.
 

railiner

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Your probably correct....however, the P.I. attorney's representing the victims will have a strong case to dig into the governments deep pockets, based on some kind of negligence for ignoring the earlier study....that could be a catalyst for action this time around...
 

BCL

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Sorry to play the cynic, but it seems likely that what will happen is that a couple of million bucks will be spent on a multi-year study with the result, unless there are more tragedies during that period, that nothing changes. Commuters and businesses won't want a reduction in capacity, commercial transportation interests won't want to be prohibited from using the bridge, and the phenomenon known as 'issue attention cycle' will mean that the public and the news media will have moved on to other things.
They spent $30 million on the barrier for the Golden Gate Bridge. However, about a fifth of their money for the project came from toll revenue which the Aurora Bridge doesn't have. They didn't remove any lanes, but they did restripe and made the lanes narrower.
 

rickycourtney

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Sorry to play the cynic, but it seems likely that what will happen is that a couple of million bucks will be spent on a multi-year study with the result, unless there are more tragedies during that period, that nothing changes. Commuters and businesses won't want a reduction in capacity, commercial transportation interests won't want to be prohibited from using the bridge, and the phenomenon known as 'issue attention cycle' will mean that the public and the news media will have moved on to other things.
That's already happened before. A multi-million dollar multi-year study was conducted and mostly ignored.
But that was 2003 and this is 2015. What's changed? Seattle's leaders. The city DOT is currently on a rechannelization (our word for a road diet) spree.

Considering the studies have been done, the work can likely start as soon as the money is found.

As a member of the news media I can honestly say that this is an issue I won't forget. Someone needs to be held accountable and a fix needs to be made.
 
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The Davy Crockett

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Time will tell.

Seattle's road diet certainly doesn't include the massive big dig freeway debacle, which continues being inched forward under the city by Big Bertha (when she is not floundering in the mud) despite plenty of citizens, who seem to have a lot more common sense than the current city leadership (when it comes to this particular money pit anyway) trying very hard to kill the monster. At least the Alaska Viaduct's replacement will keep traffic out of downtown, since it will basically have no exits into or out of downtown!

I do recognize and commend you on your ongoing interest in the various transportation challenges Seattle faces. I sincerely hope you can make a difference and you prove me wrong!
 

Swadian Hardcore

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The J4500 isn't an unsafe bus. It's built like many cars are and is probably more resistant than most cars. Still, it is not as durable as the duck boat, for example.
 

BCL

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The J4500 isn't an unsafe bus. It's built like many cars are and is probably more resistant than most cars. Still, it is not as durable as the duck boat, for example.
Against a car maybe. Basically won't a car just damage the baggage hold? However, higher up there doesn't seem to be much between the shell and the passenger. Most car doors have some sort of bracing inside to partially absorb a side collision.

However, I wouldn't say the "duck boat" doesn't have its issues. It doesn't have seat belts, and several of the passengers were severely injured when they were tossed out of the vehicle. At the very least doesn't a J4500 come equipped with seat belts? Still - I don't know if it would have helped in this case.
 

Palmetto

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Just by way of info: duckboats exist in Boston, too. You go into the Charles River on them somewhere near North Station IINM.
 

BCL

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Just by way of info: duckboats exist in Boston, too. You go into the Charles River on them somewhere near North Station IINM.
Two operators, but neither is associated with Ride the Ducks. One is Boston Duck Tours and the other is Super Duck Tours. The former claims that their entire fleet are replicas except for one original used for special events or parades. Don't know about the other operator.
 

GG-1

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Aloha

Before I left in 2010 Oahu had a Duck tour
 

chakk

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Rode the Seattle Duck last month. Did not take note of our vehicle number, so can't say if our Duck was the one involved in the crash a month later. I did notice that they are very strong (built like a tank) and have very little leg room between seats. So, it would seem to me that it would be pretty hard for passengers in the Duck to go flying if involved in a collision.
 

CHamilton

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UTC to release recommendations on Ride the Ducks vehicles
SEATTLE — The state of Washington Utilities and Transportation Commission will release its recommendations Tuesday afternoon about “Ride the Ducks” tour vehicles....
The soon-to be-released report will make recommendations on whether ducks can resume operations, and if so, what changes need to be made.
The National Transportation Safety Board will determine the cause, and Tuesday’s news briefing will not speculate on it.
 

Just-Thinking-51

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So in short the only thing that they could get the operator on was small stuff. Random drug testing program, and a expired/invalid driver.

Ok another everyone must be spotless report. No smoking gun.

We're still left with the should ex-military vehicles be allow on the street, and why are buses not built better to survive a accident.
 
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