An unidentified woman has been hospitalized with life-threatening injuries after being thrown from her pickup truck which landed on top of her. It happened Saturday, September 4, on County Road 16A about two miles east of C.R. 210. The woman was found on the side of the road under a 1986 Chevy pickup. The truck was overturned in a ditch. The woman was reportedly not wearing her seat belt. St. Johns Sheriff’s deputies had her airlifted to Shands Jacksonville Medical Center where she remains hospitalized.
Our sincere condolences go out to this woman and her family along with wishes for a speedy recovery from her injuries.
Seat Belt Safety
Traumatic head injury often results when a vehicle occupant is thrown from the car or truck. The assumption by readers of News4Jax is that the driver was not wearing her seat belt, but we do not know that to be true. In some rare cases, the seat belt can experience a design or manufacture failure, allowing the vehicle occupant to be ejected.
If I were a family member, I would want a St. Augustine personal injury attorney to examine all aspects of this vehicle to see if there was any product failure. The seat belt may have frayed or broken. The belt could have come loose from the bolts which anchor it to the floor. In some rare cases, the seat belt latch can come unbuckled, something known as false latching.
Older seat belt designs have a release button on the side that could inadvertently release in an Florida auto accident. An older seat belt likely is missing a shoulder belt to keep the person in the driver’s seat, and certainly did not have an airbag to keep the driver safe.
What appears to be a simple auto accident could actually be a defective product case but a careful examination of the vehicle is needed immediately while the evidence still exists.