Four people were killed and seven others were injured in a van rollover accident after a 15-passenger van carrying farm workers veered off the roadway. According to news reports, the crash occurred on County Road 14 between Interstate 5 and Interstate 505 just west of Zamora. One man and two women were pronounced dead at the scene and a fourth person died at the hospital, California Highway Patrol officials said.
Van Rollover Accident
A Ford Econoline 15-passenger van carrying the workers drifted off the side of the road and rolled over multiple times before hitting a tree. It is not clear how fast the van was going or why it left the roadway. Officials said there were 11 people in the van. Eight were transported to area hospitals for moderate to major injuries.
A witness who saw the immediate aftermath of the crash said first responders were trying to cut the roof to have access those who were trapped inside the van. CHP officials said crash on County Road 14 is uncommon because it is a “fairly straight” stretch of road. The circumstances of what led to the crash are unclear. The van’s driver also died in the crash. Officials are still looking into whether alcohol or drugs played a part. The investigation is still ongoing.
We offer our deepest condolences to the family members of these deceased workers for their heartbreaking loss. We also wish the injured victims the very best for a speedy and complete recovery.
What Caused This Fatal Crash?
There is not a whole lot of information about what caused this horrific rollover crash. There are a number of unanswered questions here. Was the driver of the van under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs? Was he distracted or fatigued while driving? Was there a vehicle defect or defective part such as a faulty tire or brakes that led to this crash? Did defective vehicle design play a part in the serious injuries and fatalities?
The Danger of 15-Passenger Vans
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 57% of the 235 15-passenger van occupants killed in rollover crashes from 2010 to 2019 were ejected. The agency recommends that van drivers insist all occupants wear seatbelts and that van drivers should be trained and experienced to drive these vehicles. NHTSA also recommends that tires in the vans are checked at least once a week using the manufacturer’s recommended pressure levels and that no loads are placed on the vehicle’s roof.
In such cases, it is crucial that injured victims and families of deceased victims seek the counsel of an experienced California passenger van accident lawyer who can have an accident reconstruction expert determine specifically what caused the crash. If a vehicle defect, defective part or poor vehicle design caused or contributed to the accident, the manufacturer can be held liable. If an accident occurred when workers were on the clock, the employer could also be held liable.