Details of the Fatal Fire Truck Accident
According to reports by the Associated Press, the accident occurred near Helana, Montana on U.S. Highway 12.
On June 19th, Three Forks Fire Chief Todd Rummel was driving from Helana to Three Forks in a 2002 International fire truck. As Rummel was driving down the highway, the component which powers the wheels, known as the drivetrain, failed and caused one of the wheels to freeze up.
The fire truck veered into oncoming traffic and hit a pickup truck head-on. The driver of the pickup, Matthew Boegli, attempted to avoid the fire truck, but was unable to. The accident resulted in Rummel’s death. Boegli, his wife, Crystal Ross, and their three children were also killed.
Boegli’s toxicology report did show traces of methamphetamine in his system; however, this was ruled as not being a factor of the accident.
Montana Highway Patrol investigators released their findings sometime in August. Two weeks after authorities released their report, the company released a recall announcement.
About The Navistar Recall
Navistar Inc. released a recall announcement after an investigation that found the drivetrain was responsible for 5 accidents since 2008, not including the above mentioned accident.
International 4800 Trucks manufactured in June 1999 to May 2002 with Fabco TC-200 transfer cases are affected by the recall.
The driveshaft on these vehicles can separate causing a double Cardan joint to stop working, stopping the axle.
Currently, there is no solution for the defect, but the company is working to fix the issue. Consumers will be notified immediately once a solution is found. Dealers are currently removing defective drivetrains for safety precautions.
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A man from Hidalgo County has been given probation for a drunk driving accident that claimed the life of young father in 2011.
About the Fatal McAllen Accident
According to KGBT, the original accident occurred when Benito Reyes went off the road and crashed into a McAllen apartment, killing 19-year-old William Morquecho as he slept in his bedroom. Morquecho left behind a 1-year-old son.
Morquecho’s mother was also injured in the collision when she was struck by the car’s tires. She sustained burn injuries and continues to walk with a limp.
The case was originally heard in October of 2012, but ended in a mistrial. A second trial ended in September with Reyes being found guilty of intoxication manslaughter.
Judge Rudy Delgado of the 93rd State District Court in Edinburg sentenced Reyes to 120 days in Jail and 10 years probation on Tuesday. Additionally, Judge Delgado ordered Reyes to pay Morquecho’s family $37,680 in restitution – payments will be made over the next 10 years.
Texas Car Crash Statistics
The following information was provided by the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT):
- 3,377 people were killed in auto accidents in Texas in 2013. This marked a 1.05 percent decrease from the 3,413 deaths recorded in 2012.
- 1,089 traffic fatalities were attributed to collisions in which at least one driver was intoxicated.
- Another 232,041 people were injured in traffic collisions with 89,270 people sustaining serious injuries.
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Two new lawsuits have been filed against Honda and Takata in connection with accidents in which the plaintiffs claim metal shards ejected from defective Takata airbags resulted in significant injury. Four deaths have been linked to the airbags so far.
Details of the Takata Lawsuits
According to Reuters, both of the new lawsuits were filed in Florida in connection with older model Honda’s.
The first lawsuit, filed by Corey Burdick, claims medal shrapnel was propelled through the airbag during deployment and struck Burdick in the face, causing disfigurement, impaired vision and additional “severe permanent injuries.”
Burdick was driving a 2001 Honda Civic at the time of the accident and is seeking damages above $15,000.
The second lawsuit was filed by Stephanie Erdman. The lawsuit states Erdman was driving a 2002 Civic when she was involved in a collision with another vehicles. The lawsuit claims shards of metal were propelled towards Erdman, hitting her in face. A piece of metal was lodged in her right eye.
Erdman is seeking more than $1 million in damages.
Takata Shares Spiral Amid Recall and Lawsuits
Takata shares took another hit on Tuesday, falling 23 percent. The shares have declined by 44 percent since the beginning of the year.
The drop occurred after Toyota’s Monday announcement that it would be recalling 247,000 vehicles equipped with potentially defective Takata airbags. Since 2008, more than 16 million vehicles have been recalled in connection with the defective airbags.
Also on Monday, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration released a notice urging owners of vehicles affected by the Takata recalls to take immediate action and have their airbags replaced as soon as possible.
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