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Multi-Car Collision Injures Multiple Children and One Adult

Steve Wagner

It was late afternoon on Monday, when a Ford Taurus heading east on 38th street crashed into three other vehicles stopped at a light. The collision occurred at the intersection of 38th Street and Central Avenue around 4:15 p.m. The driver of the Taurus was seriously injured and taken to IU Health Methodist Hospital after hitting the three other vehicles and then a light pole.

One of the other involved vehicles was a 15-passenger van full of children returning from a day trip. The children are participants in the summer program run by the Edna Martin Christian Center. Five children, ranging in age from 7 to 14, were injured in the accident and taken to Riley Hospital for Children. There is no indication of the cause of the accident as of yet, but we are following this ongoing investigation for updates.

15-Passenger Vans Have Increased Risk of Rollover

It is fortunate indeed that in this accident, the passenger van was at low risk of a rollover. Rollover crashes account for 30-40% of all passenger vehicle deaths, and 15-passenger vans, especially when heavily loaded, are more than twice as likely to roll over in an accident. Rollover accidents involving 15-passenger vans can be particularly dangerous, as the large vans are often used to transport groups of children, such as with church groups, school field trips, or sport teams.

There is a higher risk of children not being properly secured in car safety restraints in these kinds of large vans, creating an even greater chance of serious injury in the case of a rollover accident. In general, nearly 75% of those killed in rollovers were not wearing seat belts or other required restraints. A full two-thirds of fatalities occur when unrestrained riders or drivers are ejected from the vehicle.

Special Considerations When Traveling in Large Vans

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rollover accidents are the MOST likely type of accident to cause fatalities. In the crash discussed above, the van was unlikely to roll over for a couple of reasons. The van was stopped and had no momentum moving it in any direction. Also, the van carrying the children was rear-ended as opposed to being struck on its side, which would have increased the odds of rollover.

Since we can’t choose the kind of accident we’re involved in, it’s important for those who drive 15-passenger vans to be aware of the additional risks. Following key safety steps can reduce the odds of serious injury or death in the case of a crash involving a large van:

  • Ensure passengers are wearing seatbelts or are buckled into required car safety restraints. Repeat this check periodically, as people are likely to remove restraints or wear them improperly in order to increase comfort on long rides.
  • Avoid overloading the vehicles. Fully loaded and overloaded vehicles are much more likely to roll over than are lightly loaded vans.
  • Minimize distractions to the drivers. Especially when transporting teenagers or young adults, there can be many distractions to the driver. This can be dangerous.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a rollover accident or in an accident involving a large van, such as a 15-passenger van, contact the attorneys at Wagner Reese today. We offer a no-cost, risk-free consultation, and our vehicular accident specialists are committed to seeking justice for our clients who have been injured by the wrongdoing of others. Please call us today at (888) 204-8440.

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