Five people suffered severe injuries when they hung out of an SUV during a street takeover in a Colorado Springs strip mall as the driver performed donuts.
According to a report in The Daily Mail, the incident occurred in the parking lot of The Market at Spring Creek in southeast Colorado Springs. When the police arrived at the scene, they found several passengers severely injured. The injured were transported to a nearby hospital.
The driver, identified as Marisol Wentling, did not suffer any serious injuries but was arrested on suspicion of reckless driving.
Rollover Crash Causes Critical Injuries
Officials say the major injury crash occurred when an SUV rolled over after the driver performed donuts in the parking lot. An observer’s video of the incident shows the SUV backing up quickly while its occupants were hanging out of the windows and the sunroof.
The video also shows the car making a sharp turn as it slides and rolls over. Two people on the right immediately hit the ground, seemingly crushed by the full weight of the SUV, while the other three were thrown from the windows.
The SUV is then seen rolling over completely before onlookers rush to help those hanging out of the vehicle. As bystanders grab those trapped in the car, the video switches to another angle showing the bottom of the car. The lights briefly flash on and off as onlookers try to flip it.
But a man can be heard telling them not to do so because someone was on the other side. The five passengers who were hanging out of the vehicle are believed to have suffered life-threatening injuries. Their current condition is not known. Police said the incident is still under investigation.
Just a week before this crash, participants at a street takeover in Connecticut threw fireworks at police trying to control them. Multiple street takeovers across the state drew up to 1,500 cars from nearby states as they rampaged through at least four cities and left one police officer injured.
Police said the group was responsible for other street takeovers in the state and that some of the vehicles traveled from as far away as New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Vermont for this event.
What is a Rollover Crash, and Why is it Dangerous?
A rollover crash occurs when a vehicle flips onto its side or roof during an accident. These incidents can be particularly dangerous due to the following factors:
Increased risk of serious injury: Rollover crashes often result in severe injuries or fatalities. Occupants are at risk of being thrown around or ejected from the vehicle, fully or partially, leading to head injuries, spinal cord trauma, broken bones, and internal organ damage.
Vehicle design and dynamics: Factors such as a high center of gravity, sharp turns, or collision forces contribute to a vehicle rolling over. SUVs, trucks, and vans are more prone to rollovers due to their taller and narrower structures.
Lack of structural integrity: Roof crush or roof collapse can occur during a rollover, reducing the survival space for occupants and increasing the likelihood of severe injuries.
Multiple collisions: Rollovers may involve multiple impacts as the vehicle rolls, increasing the chances of injuries from each collision point.
Trapped passengers: Occupants may face challenges in escaping or being rescued from a vehicle that has overturned, especially if doors are jammed or windows are blocked.
Street Takeovers Increase the Risk of a Rollover
Street takeovers, also known as sideshows or street racing gatherings, involve illegal and reckless driving where individuals congregate on public roads or intersections to perform stunts, dangerous driving maneuvers, and exhibitions of speed. These events often pose significant risks, including an increased likelihood of rollover crashes.
Rollover risks are heightened during street takeovers because of a number of reasons. Participants in a street takeover engage in high-speed driving, aggressive maneuvers, sudden turns, and drifting, which can destabilize vehicles, leading to loss of control and potential rollovers. Streets and intersections are not designed for such activities, lacking safety measures or appropriate conditions for stunts or high-speed driving, increasing the risk of rollover crashes.
Also, in crowded street takeover events, numerous vehicles may be present, increasing the probability of collisions and causing chaos that elevates the risk of rollovers. In addition, participants often neglect safety measures such as seat belts, and vehicles may lack necessary safety modifications, increasing the likelihood of severe injuries or fatalities if a rollover occurs.
Examples of Injuries in a Rollover Crash
Rollover crashes can result in a wide range of injuries, varying in severity depending on factors such as the speed of the vehicle, the type of vehicle, and the safety measures in place. Some common injuries sustained in rollover accidents include:
Head injuries: Traumatic brain injuries (TBI), concussions, and skull fractures can occur due to the impact of the head against the vehicle’s interior, shattered glass, or objects outside the vehicle.
Spinal cord injuries: The force of a rollover can cause spinal cord damage, leading to paralysis, nerve damage, or lifelong disabilities.
Limb injuries: Fractures, dislocations, and severe lacerations to arms, legs, hands, and feet may happen as a result of being thrown around or crushed within the vehicle.
Internal injuries: Organ damage, internal bleeding, and injuries to the chest, abdomen, or pelvis can occur due to the forces exerted on the body during the rollover.
Facial injuries: Impact with the vehicle’s interior or debris can cause facial fractures, cuts, and soft tissue injuries.
Psychological trauma: Emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety can develop due to the traumatic nature of the rollover accident.
In severe cases, rollover crashes can lead to fatalities. Proper safety measures such as seat belts, airbags, and vehicle stability control can significantly reduce the risk and severity of injuries in rollover accidents.
What to Do If You Have Been Injured in a Rollover
If you have been injured in a rollover crash, the first step to take is to get immediate medical attention. Keep records of medical treatments, and take photos of injuries, the accident scene, and the vehicle’s condition. Report the accident to the police and obtain a copy of the accident report. Seek legal advice from a personal injury lawyer experienced in handling rollover crash cases to protect your rights and pursue compensation for your injuries and damages.