Auto Accident Involving Family Van Injures Six, Kills One

One person was killed when a pickup truck hit a 15-passenger van carrying six children and five adults on I-10. The family was trying to make up for some lost time on the road because the auto accident in Jacksonville happened shortly after 2 a.m. According to a story, a woman was driving a pickup was trying to exit the on-ramp at I-10 eastbound at Marietta. The Florida Highway Patrol reports the van hit a concrete barrier and rolled over several times. Several occupants were thrown from the van. No one knows how many people were wearing seat belts. The driver of the pickup was not injured. FHP is investigating whether alcohol might have been a factor.

A man involved in the Jacksonville 15 passenger van accident died at Shands Hospital and a one-year-old is in critical condition. Our hearts go out to the family that was just trying to join others in a reunion. We wish a speedy recovery for the injured baby.

According to the federal government, 15-passenger vans are the most dangerous vehicles on the road.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has issued guidelines to drivers of these 12 to 15-passenger vans, specifically that drivers have specialty training and pass a written and skills test. Because the vans are top heavy and unstable, only a driver who is trained to stay on the road and who can keep the tires properly inflated and drive under the speed limit should be behind the wheel.

Passengers must wear their belts. Without one, someone in a 15-passenger van in a single-vehicle crash is about three times as likely to be killed as a retrained occupant, according to the federal government.

NHTSA issued four consumer safety advisories between 2000 and 2005 concerning the 15-passenger vans, more than for any other vehicle.

Unfortunately churches, camps, large families, and community organizations are the most likely groups to be driving these vehicles and my heart goes out to all of the unsuspecting occupants of these dangerous vans that shouldn’t be on the road. If you can find an alternative cost-effective way to transport individuals, you should do so.

Otherwise, if you have been injured in a large passenger van, know that it is essential to secure the van as evidence immediately to have an experienced law firm’s experts inspect it. At Farah and Farah, our Florida auto product liability lawyers are familiar with product liability cases and the inspections and testing that need to be done by experts in the field. Our first wish is that you find an alternative to a 15-passenger van for your transportation needs; otherwise, our door is always open to answer your questions. Contact us today.

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