Truck Crash Kills 1 South of Mapleton

Multiple news outlets are reporting on a crash that occurred on March 29, 2017. Alan Remington, 65, of Wells, was killed when his Buick LeSabre collided
with a commercial truck driven by Danny Salazar of North Mankato. Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Casey Meagher said, "A commercial vehicle that was traveling on Highway 30 failed to yield at the stop sign and crashed into a passenger car that was traveling on Highway 22." The State Patrol is investigating the crash.

 

Alan Remington, of Wells, was southbound on Highway 22 when a delivery truck failed to yield the right of way at the intersection with Highway 30 and caused a collision between the two vehicles. Mr. Remington was killed in the crash with the truck driven by Danny Salazar of North Mankato.

 

Minnesota drivers have a responsibility to drive carefully. Unfortunately, many drivers do not drive with the care required of such a potentially dangerous activity. Operating a commercial truck requires a heightened level of awareness due to the inability of such vehicles to slow and stop quickly and due to the disparity in their size in relation to other vehicles on the roadway. Commercial drivers like Mr. Salazar and his company must follow specialized rules designed to protect the motoring public.

 

It is important to seek immediate assistance from an attorney who specializes in motor vehicle crashes if you or someone you know has been killed in a crash. Time is often critical in documenting and preserving critical evidence. When a crash involves a commercial vehicle it is important to select an attorney with experience in such cases and well versed in the regulations that apply to the commercial trucking industry. The personal injury attorneys at Maschka, Riedy & Ries are adept at analyzing all potential sources of liability and have extensive experience in crashes involving commercial motor vehicles.

 

Sources: KEYC, "UPDATE: State Patrol Investigating Fatal Accident Near Mapleton" Ashley Hanley, March 29, 2017. Mankato Free Press, "Fatal accident near Mapleton" Pat Christman, March 29, 2017.

St. Cloud semi crash kills 2, seriously injures another

 

According to the Star Tribune on March 18, 2017, Thomas L. Findlay, 66, of Sartell, was killed when his taxi he was driving was rear-ended by James D. Cockram, 61, of Owatonna. One of the passengers of the taxi, Emily R. LeTourneau, 22, of Big Lake, was killed and the other passenger, Marche D. Price, 24, of New Hope was seriously injured in the crash.

 

The taxi, operated by Elite Taxi, was stopped at a red light at the intersection of Highway 10 and St. Germain Street on the east side of St. Cloud when the tractor-trailer driven by Mr. Cockram rear-ended the taxi. The crash occurred at approximately 7:20 a.m. Law enforcement investigators say there is no indication Cockram took any evasive action or applied any braking prior to the crash. Charges are expected to be filed against Cockram.

 

Minnesota drivers have a responsibility to drive carefully. Unfortunately, many drivers do not drive with the care required of such a potentially dangerous activity. Operating a semi truck and trailer requires a heightened level of awareness due to the inability of such vehicles to slow and stop quickly and due to the disparity in their size in relation to other vehicles on the roadway. Commercial drivers like Mr. Cockram and his company must follow specialized rules designed to protect the motoring public.

 

It is important to seek immediate assistance from an attorney who specializes in motor vehicle crashes if you or someone you know has been injured or killed in a crash. Time is often critical in documenting and preserving critical evidence. When a crash involves a commercial vehicle it is important to select an attorney with experience in such cases and well versed in the regulations that apply to the commercial trucking industry. The personal injury attorneys at Maschka, Riedy & Ries are adept at analyzing all potential sources of liability and recovery for their injured clients and
represent clients throughout Minnesota and have extensive experience in crashes involving commercial motor vehicles.

 

Source: Star Tribune, "Charges likely against semi driver who allegedly hit cab at St. Cloud light, killed 2" Paul Walsh, March 18, 2017.

Writen by:  Jed Chronic, Maschka, Riedy & Ries Law Firm

South Carolina Crash Victim’s Family sues Ford, Takata

Following up on an earlier post on our blog, Ford and Takata have been sued by the family of a South Carolina man who was killed in a crash. According to KNBC-TV Los Angeles, Joel Knight was killed when a large shard of metal from his airbag entered his neck after a collision with a cow on his way home from work. The Knight family's tragedy is the latest in a long string of deaths and injuries linked to defective Takata airbags.

 

Joel Knight, 52, was driving home from work three days before Christmas in Kershaw, South Carolina, when he struck a cow in the road. His air bag deployed, rupturing with such force investigators say a large metal shard killed him. A preliminary autopsy report says the cause of Knight' death was a "fatal projectile of the neck probably from the air bag."

 

The air bags in Knight's 2006 Ford Ranger were manufactured by Takata Corp. of Japan. Knight was the 10th person killed by a Takata air bag, federal regulators say; more than 100 people are believed to have been injured by the defective airbags. As a result, carmakers have recalled more than 20 million cars and trucks nationwide. Knight's car had been recalled for the passenger side air bag, but not the driver's side air bag -- until this Monday, when Ford expanded its recall to include the vehicles with the same model driver's side air bags as the one in Knight's truck

 

The Knight family has sued Ford and Takata, saying they knew about a 2014 death in Malaysia involving the same air bag model found in Knight's Ford Ranger. The lawsuit claims the Malaysia death lead to an earlier recall in 61 countries.

 

Although the number of vehicles already recalled is staggering, Mr. Knight's death shows that Takata, and the auto manufacturers who utilized the defective airbags, have not been proactive enough in removing these dangerous airbags from vehicles. This neglect is inexcusable considering the product at issue only exists to prevent injury and save lives in the event of a crash.

 

A list of vehicles already recalled for defective Takata airbags can be found here.

Blue Earth Man Injured After Collision with On-Track Railroad Equipment

 

Multiple news outlets are reporting that one person was injured after a collision between his SUV and a piece of on-track railroad maintenance equipment.

 

Justin Elzenga, 24, of rural Blue Earth, Minnesota was driving his SUV on 400th Avenue when he collided with a piece of on-track railroad maintenance equipment. Mr. Elzenga was airlifted to Rochester to treat his injuries.

 

It appears the only eye-witnesses to the crash were the railroad employees on the maintenance machine. From my experience handling serious injury cases involving railroad crossing collisions, caution must be exercised in putting too much weight into initial reports. For example, in another similar case I handled, the on-track equipment had a duty to yield to all motorists at railroad crossings. From the initial accounts in that case it appeared the motorist was at fault for pulling on the tracks in front of the on-track equipment, but as we dug into the railroad's rules, it was discovered the right of way rule was violated by the railroad employees and not the motorist.

 

Author:  Jed Chronic

LATCH Child Seat Connection Safety Questioned

 

A study published in Traffic Injury Prevention concluded that Lower Anchors and Tethers for Children (LATCH) connections do not offer equal protection to using the vehicles lap/shoulder belt combination to connect rear-facing child safety seats in rear impact crashes.

 

The study's authors at Robson Forensic, Inc. tested three popular rear­-facing infant child safety seats—the Graco SnugRide, the Britax Chaperone and the Evenflo Tribute ­­in rear ­impact sled tests using three different installations – LATCH, and seat belts with Emergency Locking Retractors (ELR) and Automatic Locking Retractors (ALR). The safety seats were installed in the outboard seating positions of a sled buck representing the backseat of a 2012 Toyota Camry and occupied by a six ­month ­old crash test dummy. The researchers were interested in how well LATCH secured the infant seat in comparison to seat­belt installations in a 30 mph rear impact.

 

High-­speed videos in these rear­-facing infant seat tests revealed very different kinematics from forward-­facing child and adult restraints, namely the rotation of the seat and the dummy around its attachment axis, allowing the "child's head to extend beyond the confines of the car seat in many instances, allowing the head to strike the seatback in which the RFCRS was installed."

 

These effects were more pronounced in the LATCH configuration, resulting in an increase in angular momentum and rotation and more severe head strikes. The tests looked at Head Injury Criterion (HIC) values, even though there are no Federal Motor Vehicle Safety HIC standards for a six­ month ­old infant. But, what is notable in this study is that the HIC values, which are based on acceleration, are much higher in Britax and Graco seats secured with LATCH (60 percent higher in the SnugRide and double in the Britax.) The authors concluded: "the results of this study suggest that LATCH does not offer equal protection to lap/shoulder belts from head injuries in rear impacts when used with infant seat type rear facing child restraint systems."

 

This study suggests that if caregivers want to use the LATCH system with rear-­facing infant seats, they should consider doing so with a tether. Tethers serve a critical purpose in reducing head excursion in a crash and few parents recognize its importance or that it can and should be used in conjunction with lower anchors or seat belts. The study's authors refer to this type of installation in other countries, but apparently did not use tethers in their tests: Swedish rear­ facing child restraint designs differ from US products, in that they route a tether down and forward to a point on the floor in front of the vehicle seat where the child seat sits. This tethering system limits rotation towards the rear of the vehicle on rebound in frontal impacts or initial impact in rear impacts. By doing this, the forward rotation of the child seat is limited and allowed the child to "ride down" the collision with the vehicle. For many years, rear­-facing infant seats in the U.S. did not have tethers. Today, a few brands, including Britax and Combi, include tethers in their rear­-facing infant seat design.