Thirteen people in Chelsea, Mass, suffered injuries after the 15 passenger van they were in struck a toll plaza on the Tobin Bridge. According to an Aug. 29 news report in WHDH-TV, the van driver said his brakes failed and he lost control of the vehicle when the 15 passenger van crash occurred.
All 13 passengers in the van were injured and were taken to area hospitals. The extent of their injuries is not known. There are signs on the Tobin Bridge cautioning vehicles approaching the toll plaza to slow down, but the van’s driver said he was not able to do that because his brakes failed.
This news report does not have much information about the nature of the injuries suffered by the victims of this auto crash, but the fact they were all taken to area hospitals suggests that they must have suffered some type of injury. We do know 15-passenger vans are probably the deadliest and most dangerous vehicles on our roadways today.
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) has consistently issued several alerts over the years warning consumers about the dangers of these vans. Here is a comprehensive Web site, which talks about those hazards. The federal agency’s statistics also show that between the years 1990 and 2000 – more than 1,200 fatal 15-passenger van accidents have occurred. During that period, 860 people died in these van accidents and a little over 420 of those fatalities occurred from single vehicle rollover accidents.
In spite of knowing the dangers of these “death traps,” many colleges, schools, employers, community and church groups and even day care centers use these vans to transport small groups of people. These vehicles are unstable and prone to rollovers because of an inherent design defect that gives it a high center of gravity. The van’s instability substantially increases when it is fully loaded. My partner Brian Chase, who is a national expert on 15 passenger rollover accidents has represented and obtained significant compensation for victims from the manufacturers of these defective vehicles.
The injured victims in this Boston 15 passenger van crash will be well-advised to consult with a law firm experienced in 15-passenger van cases. Those responsible for this accident should be held accountable and made to compensate these victims appropriately.