Two people died and six suffered severe injuries after their 2003 Ford Expedition lost control and ran off Interstate 19 in Tucson, ramming into a tree. According to reports on KOLD News‘ Web site, Idalia Montano, 34, and Margarita Gonzalo Leon, 55, died in the SUV rollover crash. Both women reportedly did not wear a seatbelt, according to the Tucson Citizen. In fact, the article states that other than the driver, no one in the Expedition was wearing a seatbelt, including four children who were in the vehicle, ages 11, 10, 4 and 1.
Officials are looking into why the Expedition went off the highway. It’s really unfortunate that a majority of occupants were not buckled up – not even the children. But the fact that they were traveling in a Ford Expedition also raises some questions. We just got off a case involving one of our clients, Gloria Levesque, who was severely injured in an Expedition crash and rendered paraplegic. Her trial ended in a hung jury, but soon after, Ford settled for an undisclosed amount.
Our firm has conducted several crash tests involving Ford sport utility vehicles such as the Explorer and Expedition. About 10,000 people die each year in the United States in rollover accidents. We have particularly found that Ford SUVs are unstable, ineffective and fail to protect their occupants, especially in rollover accidents. These vehicles have been known to tip over even in moderate speeds. What happens when the vehicle flips over is the weak roof caves in on the driver or the passenger, crushing their head and spine causing catastrophic injuries.
Our client, who had been a teacher at a Montessori school for 25 years before her accident in 2003, will remain unemployed, disabled, dependent and catastrophically injured for the rest of her life. And it’s aggravating to think that Ford could have strengthened that roof for about $30.