Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on May 21st, 2013,
by Zane Cagle

Five Killed & Six Injured in I-70 Accident Near Vandalia, Illinois

Posted on May 21st, 2013 by Zane Cagle

Five Killed & Six Injured in I-70 Accident Near Vandalia, IllinoisAn auto accident near Vandalia, Illinois on Interstate 70 has claimed the lives of five men and injured six other men.  According to reports, a church van from California was headed to Philadelphia when the driver lost control of the van and the van went into a median and flipped over several times.  An official at the scene said nine of the 11 occupants were thrown from the 2002 Dodge van.

Fayette County Coroner Bruce Bowan said the ejections seem to illustrate a reason for many safety concerns about large capacity van’s and their relatively high fatality record in that most occupants do not usually wear safety belts.  “When you get a van loaded with many people and you run into a problem, the weight shifts and it’s bound to go up on two wheels”. Bowan further indicated that it was one of the worst accidents that he has seen in 13 years as coroner.

Further investigation will determine causes and the factors involved in the accident. According to reports, the driver is one of the survivors.  Some safety experts state that while the death rate for drivers of 15 passenger vans is lower than for other vehicles, fatalities for occupants are higher as opposed to other vehicles which make sense due to the center of gravity, the tendency to flip and the “crush factor” of particular vehicle’s roof.  SUV’s and large capacity vans are convenient since  they hold many people and are roomy, however, their center of gravity is higher than that of a passenger car and since they are more likely to flip, the reinforcement in the roof of the  vehicle becomes critical when an accident occurs.

The National Transportation Safety Board says a study indicated that such vehicles were involved in 1,512 fatal crashes from 1994-2004. More than 40 percent of those crashes were single vehicle accidents and more than a third overturned. The NTSB said 81 percent of the vans’ fatalities occurred in single-vehicle rollovers.

Sorting through an auto accident and determining causes is important for liability but there are other more significant reasons to thoroughly investigate this accident. What I find is that victims and families just want to know what happened and they want the satisfaction of knowing how they can help others avoid such traumatic and life changing and life-ending events. Thorough investigations give invaluable information to lawmakers and manufacturers in order to improve design, understanding and awareness.

If you have been involved in an auto accident and have sustained serious injury or maybe lost a loved one, you may want to consult a personal injury attorney. Good personal injury attorneys, if consulted early enough, are often able to hire expert accident reconstruction experts in addition to state highway patrol experts and may be helpful in determining all causes from driver error to defective vehicles or tires.  Determining the cause of the accident may not seem immediately important if you are coping with a death or a serious injury. In the weeks and months that follow an accident compensation and investigation into liability may make the difference in medical care and damages.

Our attorneys at The Cagle Law Firm are experts in the area of motor vehicle accidents, federal and state highway guidelines and manufacturer guidelines. We understand that auto accidents are traumatic, life changing events and each one is unique with its own set of facts.  If you have questions about a possible personal injury or wrongful death case,  we are available seven days a week to answer your questions, toll free (314) 276-1681 or locally (314) 276-1681.

Sources:

Hampel, P. & Bell,  K. Five dead, six injured in crash of 15-passenger van  near Vandalia, Ill.  St. Louis Post Dispatch 5/20/13

CBS. St. Louis. KMOX, Questions Remain in Deadly Illinois Van Crash, 5/21/13