Five dead, including two children, in fiery single-vehicle crash

1191524__broken_window.jpgOn Sunday, a deadly auto accident in New York City left five people dead and an SUV in flames. According to the Wall Street Journal, five occupants of the SUV - three women and two children - were pronounced dead at the scene. Chief Stephen Browne from the New York Fire Department said it was one of the worst car accidents he has seen in his 26 year career. "To see this much human life devastation in a single-car accident on a side street is not normal," Chief Browne said.

Witnesses of the accident reported that the driver of the SUV was speeding when she ran two red lights only seconds before the accident occurred. However, witnesses also stated they saw the driver swerving to avoid other vehicles: she did not appear to be impaired, or to be running red lights intentionally. One motorist told ABC news that he had a green light and was in the intersection when he saw the SUV approaching him, almost causing an accident. Immediately after avoiding a crash with that vehicle, the SUV hit a concrete pillar supporting an AirTrain track. The vehicle then flipped over and somersaulted before it exploded.

The occupants of the SUV were all ejected from the vehicle, except for the driver, who was still in her seat and wearing her seatbelt when police arrived. Firefighters discovered the eight year-old girl approximately ten feet away from the SUV. Another woman was found pinned beneath the SUV. However, all three were hospitalized with some injuries. Victor Lopez, who was sleeping at a friend's house near the scene, woke to the sound of the crash and went outside to investigate. "There was one body here, one there, one there," Lopez told the Times Ledger. "Man, there was a lot of blood." Three passengers survived the crash: the driver, a male passenger and a 7-year-old boy.

No criminal activity is suspected in connection with the crash: the driver reportedly told police that her brakes failed. No charges have been filed against her, but a crash investigation is currently underway. Because the driver's car was totaled, it's difficult to tell whether or not the brakes were functional. At present, investigators are examining all possible contributing factors, including the vehicle's maintenance history.

Mechanical deficiencies do not account for a large number of accidents. However, they contribute to about twelve to thirteen percent of all car crashes, according to the National Highway Safety Traffic Administration (NHTSA). Such failures can be prevented by keeping your car maintenance up-to-date. Taking proactive steps to maintain your tires, brakes, steering and other safety systems of your vehicle can help ensure your safety and safety on the roads.

A vehicle should be serviced about every 3,000 miles. Usually, these checks will only consist of an oil change. However, after a certain mileage point, gauges, sensors, and belts may need to be checked for wear and tear. Rotating your tires is also recommended after 7,000 miles. And of course, if you notice a problem when you're between service appointments, you'll want to have your vehicle checked out. Appropriate maintenance can help extend a vehicle's lifetime and keep roadways safe.


The car accident lawyers at Aaron Sachs and Associates represent injury victims in the Columbia/Jefferson City area. Call 1-888-777-AUTO to schedule an free initial consultation with one of our attorneys, or visit our website to meet our team.

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