Arion Seay, 16, died in a San Bernardino car accident after his seatbelt reportedly failed ejecting him from a Ford Focus sedan in which he was a passenger. According to a news report in the San Bernardino Sun, eyewitnesses told officials that 27-year-old Dione Davis, the driver of the 2007 Ford Focus, was driving south on Oak Glen Road in Yucaipa when she lost control. The Focus then crossed into oncoming traffic and slammed into a Toyota 4Runner.
The Toyota’s driver, 32-year-old Steve Parr, was not injured. Seay was apparently wearing his seatbelt and sitting in the backseat behind Davis, but was still ejected from the car. Police suspect Davis was under the influence and speeding at the time of the fatal car crash. Both Davis and another 17-year-old teen were injured as well. Police say Davis is likely to face vehicular manslaughter charges.
My heart goes out to the family and friends of young Arion Seay for their tragic and heartbreaking loss. I offer my deepest condolences to everyone who knew and loved this young man. Please keep them as well as the injured teenager in your prayers. I hope the injured teen makes a quick and complete recovery.
According to the California Highway Patrol’s 2007 Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there was one fatality and eight injuries involving alcohol-related car crashes in Yucaipa. In San Bernardino County, 105 deaths and 1,174 injuries were reported as a result of alcohol-related car accidents in 2007.
I hope the driver, Dione Davis, is held accountable for reckless driving and driving under the influence, which likely caused this fatal car collision in the first place. However, it is interesting to note that Seay was wearing his seatbelt and still got ejected. Was there a seat restraint failure here that caused Seay to be ejected from the car and suffer fatal injuries? An experienced auto products liability attorney will bring in experts to examine the Ford and determine whether a defective product contributed to Seay’s fatal injuries. Seay’s family would be well-advised to preserve the Focus until it has been examined for seatbelt defects and other evidence.
Seat restraint systems could fail in many ways. A number of side release belts are prone to false latching and many end-release belts are prone to unlatching during car collisions. At Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys, we have seen numerous cases of seat belt failure involving seat belt mounts, buckles, webbing and grabbers.