An Interstate 265, Louisville, Kentucky crash involving a 15-passenger van carrying four elderly women and their driver was reported in a recent Courier-Journal article.
The van accident happened on the Gene Snyder Freeway, near the I-64 just north of Taylorsville Road as one of its tires blew out. The driver lost control and the van rolled over several times coming to a stop at a cable barrier. The group of women, who were not identified in the article, belonged to the South Jefferson Christian Church located at 6500 W. Orell Road. All the van’s occupants were taken to University Hospital. However, their injuries have been described as not life threatening.
I deeply sympathize with the injured in this auto accident and wish them a rapid recovery. I’m very distressed this rollover wreck happened when the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has repeatedly said the 15-passenger van is unsafe. It is unfortunate the Church had chosen to continue using this vehicle.
An update posted on NHTSA Web site says there were 58 people killed in 2006 in 15-passenger van rollover crashes. Also data shows 31 percent of fatal rollovers for this vehicle happen in between the months of June and August.
From my experience handling injury and accident cases involving 15 passenger vans I’d strongly recommend they be kept off the road. The van has inherent safety problems and poor stability even at moderate speeds. The manufacturer’s choice of defectively made tires and compromises in the roof support design tend to make this auto deadly in rollover crashes. Additionally, the van’s stability worsens if the tire pressure is not adjusted according to the number of passengers.
I’m enraged this vehicle is still being sold. I’d like to see the manufacturers held responsible for the van’s defects and be made to compensate those injured from its use. .