NTSB report indicates likely cause of deadly 'Ride the Ducks' crash on Aurora Bridge

Before you go, we thought you'd like these...
Before you go close icon
NTSB Report Indicates Likely Cause of Deadly Duck Boat Crash


OLYMPIA, Wash. -- New information from the National Transportation Safety Board indicates a front axle failure is likely to blame for that deadly accident between a Ride the Duck amphibious and a charter bus in September.

The crash happened on the busy Aurora Bridge and killed five people.

SEE ALSO: Tea Party favorite Matt Bevin wins Kentucky governor race

The NTSB said the left front axle on boat 6 did have an earlier modification -– but it may not have been part of the 2013 service bulletin from the parent company.

See photos from the scene of the tragedy:

5 PHOTOS
Seattle bus crash
See Gallery
NTSB report indicates likely cause of deadly 'Ride the Ducks' crash on Aurora Bridge
Officers investigate the scene of a crash between a tour bus and a tourist duck boat on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, Washington on September 24, 2015. At least four people were killed and several were critically injured when a bus collided with a tour vehicle on a bridge in the US West Coast city of Seattle, officials said. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters remove a body from the scene of a crash between a tour bus and a tourist duck boat on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, Washington on September 24, 2015. At least four people were killed and several were critically injured when a bus collided with a tour vehicle (Duck Boat) on a bridge in the US West Coast city of Seattle AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters remove a body from the scene of a crash between a tour bus and a tourist duck boat on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, Washington on September 24, 2015. At least four people were killed and several were critically injured when a bus collided with a tour vehicle (Duck Boat) on a bridge in the US West Coast city of Seattle AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
Firefighters remove a body from the scene of a crash between a tour bus and a tourist duck boat on the Aurora Bridge in Seattle, Washington on September 24, 2015. At least four people were killed and several were critically injured when a bus collided with a tour vehicle (Duck Boat) on a bridge in the US West Coast city of Seattle AFP PHOTO / MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
HIDE CAPTION
SHOW CAPTION
of
SEE ALL
BACK TO SLIDE

The report came out after a hearing at the Washington State Utilities and Transportation Commission where the regulatory agency discussed their progress into its own investigation.

The NTSB's preliminary report said the driver of boat 6 said he heard a loud bang and then he lost control, crossing the centerline and tearing i to the side of a charter bus going in the opposite direction on the bridge.

"We still have a sense of urgency in getting the 10 truck ducks up and running," said Pat Buchanan, a Ducks attorney. "They have been inspected."

The UTC suspended the company's license shortly after the crash. Since then state regulators have been asking tough questions about the company's safety practices since NTSB investigators determined the front axle of the boat sheered off.

ALSO READ: 'GMA' host Lara Spencer blasted for cozy Donald Trump photo

"How well do they maintain those vehicles?" said Dave Pratt with the UTC. "How well do they service them? How well do they train their drivers?"

An October 2013 bulletin from Ride the Ducks International, the company that converts the boats into tourist vehicles, recommended safety modifications to the front axles. The state and federal investigators are trying to determine if the Seattle company ever received those fixes.

The NTSB report reveals that duck 6 did have axle modifications, but investigators said those were not associated with the 2013 bulletin.

The commission did not make any decision during Tuesday's hearing about the future of the Ducks.

The state is expected to present its investigation by December 15.

The NTSB's final report may not be out for a year.

More on AOL.com:
Maldives declares state of emergency as turmoil deepens
Donald Trump defends wife over Ivana's reported diss
Ohio votes down legalizing pot for medical, recreational use

Read Full Story

Sign up for Breaking News by AOL to get the latest breaking news alerts and updates delivered straight to your inbox.

Subscribe to our other newsletters

Emails may offer personalized content or ads. Learn more. You may unsubscribe any time.

From Our Partners