A 9-year-old Orange County girl was killed and seven others were critically injured after their Ford Expedition rolled over on a New Mexico highway, The Orange County Register reported. Cynthia Munoz of Santa Ana was pronounced dead on the scene and the other injured members were transported to local hospitals, the article said.
According to the news report, the driver of the 2003 Ford Expedition told officials that the vehicle began to “shake violently” and he lost control. The girl and her 15-year-old sister, neither wearing a seat belt (according to the report), were both ejected from the vehicle as it rolled over several times. Officials say neither speed nor alcohol seems to have played a role in this accident, the Register reported.
The Munoz family is going to need an expert analysis of what caused this accident to determine if it is the fault of the vehicle or one of its components. The “shaking violently” could be a tire separation, a wheel coming off, a suspension issue or a number of other less likely causes. Only through examination of the accident sequence and the vehicle its self can a determination of the likely causes for this accident be known.
Where does a family like the Munoz get a team of accident reconstruction and analysis experts? Unless the family has the finances to hire a team of experts, they inevitably are going to turn to lawyers who are experts in auto defect cases who take cases on a “contingent fee” basis, as we do. There are a few dozen law firms throughout the country that have the skill and expertise to efficiently handle a case of this magnitude and complexity. We are one of those firms.
Almost every day in some part of this country a Ford SUV rolls over and people die or are seriously injured. But Ford will still give the public and government officials the same spiel that it has given them for decades: Their vehicles are safe.
In case after case and in test after test, the defects and weaknesses of Ford SUVs have been exposed. Our tests and statistics show that Ford has manufactured some of the most dangerous vehicles on our highways. Ask to see one of our crash test videos and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Ford SUVs’ poor performance when it comes to rollover crashes is no secret. Be it the Explorer, Expedition or Excursion, my partner Brian Chase has conducted numerous tests and pursued dozens of lawsuits against Ford for failures in their stability, restraint systems, seats strength and especially the roofs, which are extremely flimsy and cave in on impact. These defective automobiles lead to tens of thousands of catastrophic injuries and deaths every year.
Our recent tests of Ford Excursions dramatically expose the weakness of their roof support structure. The test shows that it doesn’t take a violent accident to flatten the roof. Speed doesn’t have to be a factor. Alcohol doesn’t have to be involved. The roof supports, are just too weak to keep from crushing in on occupants during a rollover accident.
In this tragic accident, two young girls were ejected, possibly because they weren’t wearing seat belts or because the seat belt systems failed, only an expert analysis will be able to tell for sure. For more information on why it’s important to get buckled up, visit the National Safety Belt Coalition’s Web site.
Contact me if you have questions regarding an auto defect that has lead to serious injuries or worse.