According to a story by NBC News 4, a California man died Sunday in a single-vehicle rollover accident on U.S. 6 just east of Ely, Nevada. Jay Wooten of Fairfield, California, driving his Ford Excursion, swerved to avoid hitting an elk. The Ford Excursion crossed both traffic lanes and rolled over, killing Wooten, according to Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper George Edwards. Thank God that Mr. Wooten’s five passengers, including four children, survived although they were injured and hospitalized.
What caught my eye about this story is that at Bisnar Chase Personal Injury Attorneys we are in the middle of rollover testing of Ford Excursions. Their instability and propensity to roll due to their configuration, handling characteristics and weight distribution is not as surprising as the inability of the vehicle to protect its passengers from injury when it does roll over. One of the astounding things we have documented from our testing is the lack of roof strength.
When turned upside down and dropped from less than a foot the roof pancakes down, leaving no survival space for passengers. Can you image how much more violently the vehicle’s roof hits the ground in a rollover accident? The news article did not mention if Mr. Wooten’s fatal injuries were caused by “roof crush”. However, based upon our test results, I would not be surprised if the Excursion roof crushed in on Mr. Wooten, leaving him no survival space.
I’d bet that the surviving passengers had their seat belts on and that the roof did not crush in on the portion of the Excursion that they were seated in.
Let’s all hope and pray that the other five passengers survive with minimal injuries.
If anyone injured in Ford Excursion rollover accidents, or their attorneys, need our assistance or our test results, call me, John Bisnar.