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I was looking for the answer to this question. It brought me here, but the closest question was [closed]. The most that I am aware of was when driver Pierre Levegh's race car killed 83 spectators at Le Mans: June 11th, 1955. Was wondering if this was the most or if there might be more. There were 84 deaths in all, including the driver. Technically it could be considered a 2-car accident, as his car launched off of another car. Maybe question should be 2-car accident?

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If my question is not of the type needed or wanted here, let me know please. I'm new here and found your site through luck. Nowhere else have I found the answer. It is part of history. Anyhow, not sure if I start out on this site with a minus 1 or not, but I would like to stick around. Having a minus within two minutes of posting, without feedback, is not very encouraging he he, but I'll learn. Suggestions on how to post question in a better manner would be appreciated. Thanks all. Just visiting, but I do love history – Jim C Aug 8 '13 at 22:53
welcome to the site, your question could look like a pub quiz trivia question, to some here. also, the 1955 Le Mans crash sounds more like a sports event disaster than a "car accident". but you're right, a -1 the minute you start isn't welcoming and i withdraw it. embarrassed. – Tea Drinker Aug 8 '13 at 23:01
A note on why you are looking for this will help in preventing the impression that you are just here for trivia. – Pieter Geerkens Aug 9 '13 at 2:10
Wikipedia is notorious for being edited in large part by socially challenged people lacking circumspection and compassion. Even so, they do not appear to have a listing in which vehicle accidents are ranked by number of fatalities. Perhaps this absence is not coincidental, after all? Regardless, this accident was pretty bad and well may have been the worst ever. – Eugene Seidel Aug 9 '13 at 12:10
Do buses count? – DJohnM Aug 10 '13 at 21:58

4 Answers 4

The deadliest road accident not caused by an explosion that I could find took place in Sotouboua, Togo in 1965, where two trucks crashed into a crowd of dancers, killing 125 people. While this is widely reported on many "Deadliest Road Accident" lists (such as this one) the only contemporary source that I could find for it is the 1965 edition of Africa Diary (an Indian publication), which quotes:

(Standard Tanzania, Dar es Salaam) TOGO Trucks Kill 100 At Village Carnival. Two trucks that careened through a carnival crowd in the Togolese village of Sotouboua killed more than 100 persons and injured 100 others, the police reported on Dec. 6. The dead included an American Peace Corps worker, identified as James Driscoll of Buffalo, N.Y. [...]

Update: actually, searching Google Newspaper Archive for "James Driscoll" Sotouboua returns more reports.

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Single real road accident of a vehicle(truck) which caused highest deaths was near nagbavji in desuri ki nal Rajsthan in India on 8 sept 2007.This truck was carrying 150 pilgrimage to Ramdevji temple.In this accident truck plunged into 84 feet deep george.84 people died onthe spot.64 injured. In other high casualties of road accidents it is due to fire or othe no traffic reasons.. but in this case all casualties were purly due to road accident not due to subsequent other reasons. so it is the most death toll accident.

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Hi, welcome to History Stack exchange. To make your answer a good one, 1. provide some links. 2. Also provide evidence that other accidents had lesser number of deaths. (links again). After all, in India there are too many such accidents involving marriage parties or pilgrims. Way too common. Note: I'm not refuting your answer, just prompting you to improve it. – Rajib Jan 4 at 17:33

In the US, a truck filled with migrant workers ran off the road, hit a tree, and burst into flames in Phoenix, Arizona, in about 1960. 21 people were killed. At that time it was the worst 1-vehicle accident in the history of the history of the US, and well might still be.

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Please provide a source for your claim, so that we can find out more information and verify the details. – Gwenn Oct 19 at 1:55

As gleaned from my research, it seems that the road accident with the highest death toll in history was the Salang Tunnel fire, having occurred on November 3rd, 1982. Here is the link for the Wikipedia article: If the Soviet bulletin is to be believed (giving the one who posed the initial question the deference in this instance), than the undesirable title of deadliest road accident ever is ceded to the Los Alfaques disaster; link here:

Consider the ruthless profiteer John D. Rockefeller's epigram: "I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity." I suppose in an infecund way you did :)

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However, since both these disasters were caused by exploding tankers, I would not call them car accidents. – Lennart Regebro Jan 10 '14 at 8:28
@LennartRegebro using that logic, a car crashing into a train, causing it to derail with 300 dead on the train is a car accident or a train accident? Hypothetical, but set your definition... – jwenting Jan 10 '14 at 12:47
@jwenting It would be both. But both examples in this case are cases of petrol/gas explosions. It's just that the tank exploding happens to be located on a truck. Calling those a "single car accident" is really stretching it. – Lennart Regebro Jan 10 '14 at 13:09
@LennartRegebro if the truck is standing still (or nearly so) and rear ended by the car, it's no different from the car crashing into any other above ground fuel tank. – jwenting Jan 14 '14 at 14:26
@jwenting The Los Alfaques Disaster is because the tank sprung a leak. That is not a car accident in any reasonable sense. Although information about the Salang fire is scarce, the reports that claim a large number of deaths claims a tanker exploded. This could theoretically have been from a single truck crash, of course, but could equally well have been for a number of other reasons. Some claims are that a military vehicle crashed into a fuel truck, in which case it is not a single vehicle accident. – Lennart Regebro Jan 14 '14 at 15:08

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