6-Year-Old Girl Killed By Crushed Roof in SUV Rollover Accident
An SUV accident in Hillsborough, North Carolina (NC) was a prime example of just how devastating rollover accidents can be. The driver got distracted for a brief moment, overcorrected, drove off the left side of Orange Grove Road which wound up causing their SUV to roll over.
When the SUV flipped, a portion of the roof was crushed and, sadly, that was the same area where a 6-year-old girl was sitting. She died due to injuries sustained in the wreck, according to The Herald Sun.
My heart goes out to the family, especially the parents of that little girl. Losing a child is something no parent should have to endure, and it is even more gut wrenching when you lose your child in a sudden
Studies have been done showing a correlation between roof strength and reduced injuries/deaths in rollover accidents. In fact, the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety found that when a vehicle had a one-unit increase in "strength-to-weight ratio" in the roof compared to typical roof strength, there was a 24 percent lower risk of rollover accident deaths, ejection decreased by 41 percent, and injury risk among non-ejected occupants decreased by 16 percent. There have been highly contested wrongful death lawsuits for decades over whether car/SUV roofs were manufacturerd properly and sufficiently to withstand the forces involved in rollover accidents. In these injury and death lawsuits, issues about defective seat belts and improper or defective windows that shatter are often part of the allegations. Certainly, if a seat belt releases in a rollover, that should not occur. Same goes for any window: it should simply disintegrate, rather it should crack in small pieces protecting those inside from being ejected.
SUVs and light trucks are the vehicles most at risk for being involved a rollover accident, and especially when the driver or passenger is ejected the result is often horrific. This is why it is critical for anyone operating these types of vehicles to be extremely cautious when making sharp turns and to carefully operate the vehicle. Legally, all passengers injured in a rollover accident may consider claims against their driver, even if a family member or friend--sometimes its the only source of compensation besides considering a manufacturer product defect or failure claim involving rollover, roof crush, seat belt/airbag, or glass/glazing issues.