NTSB taking over fatal RV crash investigation - KCTV5

NTSB taking over fatal RV crash investigation

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WASHINGTON (AP/KCTV) -

The National Transportation Safety Board says it will review details of a motor home crash in Osage County that killed five family members from Minnesota.

The review will include looking into laws that allowed 17-year-old Adam Kerber to drive the 57,000-pound vehicle.

NTSB spokesman Peter Knudson said Tuesday that the agency wants to determine whether the driver was "legally able to drive" such a large vehicle and whether the applicable laws and licensing requirements "could have played a role in this accident."

The crash happened about 9 a.m. Sunday as a large extended family and some friends returned from an annual motocross vacation in San Antonio, TX. The vehicle broke through a guardrail on Interstate 35 in northeast Kansas and plunged into Tequa Creek.

Five people were killed. Thirteen others, including Adam Kerber, were injured.

Overland Park Regional Medical Center said in a news release Tuesday evening that Adam Kerber remains hospitalized in critical condition. Eyewitnesses had said he suffered a serious head injury.

An 8-year-old boy also remains hospitalized in critical condition. Pauline Kerber, the matriarch of the family, is hospitalized in stable condition.

The injured ranged in age from 2 to 30 and were taken to various hospitals. Most have been released.

Russell Kerber, 24, issued a statement on behalf of his mother Tuesday evening, along with new pictures of the four killed in the crash. Tom Kerber, 25, and wife Melissa, 24, were killed along with Tom Kerber's younger brother, James, 12, and sisters, Joy, 14, and Jessica, 10.

"We are releasing photos of our beloved deceased family members today to honor their lives and show the community what beautiful people they were," Russell Kerber said. "We will miss them dearly. Many families have been impacted by this tragedy and we ask that you keep everyone in your thoughts and prayers."

The NTSB investigation comes as key Minnesota lawmakers say they have no plans to pursue changes in driver's license restrictions after the crash.

Adam Kerber wouldn't have been allowed to drive it if it was a commercial vehicle because of its heavy weight and number of passengers. The teen was OK under Minnesota law to drive since it was an RV in private use.

It's unclear whether he was OK to drive under Kansas law.

Minnesota House Public Safety Chairman Tony Cornish called the accident a rarity. He said RV drivers are usually older and experienced. He said he didn't want to have a kneejerk reaction.

His Senate counterpart, Republican Warren Limmer, said it would be a mistake to rush a legal change.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) and the Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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Sidebar: Multiple deaths, 18 injured in crash on I-35

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Multiple fatalities and as many as 18 people have been reported injured after an accident Sunday in Osage County, KS. More>>

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