The Huntsville bus accident involved a school bus carrying 40 students from Lee High School and occurred on November 20, 2006 on an elevated portion of Interstate 565 in Huntsville, Alabama. Police stated that the bus went over the side of the road after being hit by a small car. Four students were killed and 23 were injured after the bus plunged almost 40 feet. The driver was ejected from the bus before it went over the side of the bridge.
The crash reignited debate over the installation of seat belts in buses, and whether Alabama should follow the lead of states such as Florida in legislating compulsory lap belts. Following the accident Alabama Governor Bob Riley ordered a report be made into the issue. A study group consisting of education and transport officials interviewed 17 expert witnesses, and in early 2007 released recommendations that a pilot program be run with lap/shoulder belts being installed in a limited number of new buses from 2008.
NTSB Highway Accident Brief HWY-07-MH-007: School Bus Bridge Override Following Collision With Passenger Vehicle, Huntsville, Alabama, November 20, 2006