Six people were killed and eight others were seriously injured in a
Fatal 15-Passenger Rollover
The van careened out of control and rolled three or four times. Seven people were ejected from the vehicle. Officials say all eight survivors sustained serious injuries. The van’s roof completely collapsed. The eight who survived have been identified as: Driver Bernard Lattibuediere and passengers Veronica Frances, Miriam Edwards, Massie Gillespie, Nanda Richards, Judith Richards, Charlene Mandrie and Joan Davis.
I offer my deepest condolences to the family and friends of the Whites, McGhie, and the other deceased victims of this horrific rollover crash. My heart also goes out to the injured victims and their families. I pray for the speedy and complete recovery of everyone who was injured in this van rollover accident.
Defective Vehicle Design
Based on this news report, it appears that a tire blowout led to this single vehicle crash. The news report also indicates that there was major roof crush in the15-passenger van involved here. It is a substantially researched and well-documented fact that 15-passenger vans are inherently unstable even under the best of conditions. When you add tread separation or other types of tire defects into the mix, these vans become totally and completely uncontrollable. It is hardly surprising to me the driver lost control. Even the most experienced and skilled of drivers would have had problems gaining control of this vehicle in such a situation.
Other Auto Products Liability Issues
What makes these defective 15-passenger vans even more dangerous is that their roofs don’t even need to comply with an already watered down federal roof standard (FMVSS 216). The roof structure on these vans is prone to complete and catastrophic failure, as it apparently happened in this case. The article also states that several of the passengers were ejected. These vans likely had RCF 67 buckles on their seat restraint systems. These buckles have a design flaw that causes false-latching. In such cases, the vehicle’s occupants are led to believe that the buckle is engaged when it actually is not. In the event of an accident, the sudden load forces cause the tongue to come out of the buckle and leave the occupant suddenly and unexpectedly unrestrained.
Families of deceased victims as well as the injured victims in this case would be well advised to contact a nationally renowned auto products liability lawyer, who has successfully handled 15-passenger van rollover accidents. A knowledgeable auto product defect attorney will have an expert analyze the crashed vehicle and gather all evidence of design flaws, seatbelt defects, roof failure, and tire defects.
Do you travel often or occasionally in a 15-passenger van? What are your concerns about these vehicles after reading about this fatal accident?
The Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys is not representing any of the parties mentioned in this article at the time the article was posted. Our information source is cited in the article. If you were involved in this incident or a similar incident and have questions as to your rights and options, call us or another reputable law firm. Do not act solely upon the information provided herein. Get a consultation. The best law firms will provide a free consultation. We provide a free, confidential consultation to not at fault persons named in this article. The free consultation offer extends to family members as well.