Anyone who reads the morning paper or clicks on the local news should be no stranger to the stories of so-called rollover traffic accidents that appear on a fairly frequent basis all around the state. With the large number of sport utility vehicles (SUVs) plying Maryland’s highways and rural roads, rollover automobile crashes are not uncommon. As such, serious injuries and occasional fatalities are also quite common in this type of traffic accident scenario.
As a Baltimore personal injury lawyer, my firm has seen its share of victims from these kinds of violent car crashes. A fair percentage of rollover accidents involve a single vehicle, though multi-vehicle collisions can also precipitate a rollover, depending on the situation and road conditions at the time of the accident.
One thing remains relatively consistent for this category of auto wreck; the occupants are at high risk for severe and even fatal injury. This is due the rolling action of the vehicle, which can dislodge an occupant from their seated position and throw the individual against solid objects within the vehicle. Brain trauma, head and neck injuries, and other bodily injury can also result during such events.
Older SUVs in particular may not have sufficient strength in the A-pillar area, which can be crushed and cause the driver or front passenger to come into contact with the roof of the truck. In other cases, an occupant can even be ejected from the vehicle and thrown onto the roadway.
Depending on various factors, a rollover can seriously injure one or all of the occupants. Not long ago, a Middletown family was involved in a tragic crash that killed the father and critically injured his wife and hurt their two young kids. According to news reports, 30-year-old Paul V. Haxton driving his family in their 2005 Trailblazer around 6pm when the vehicle failed to negotiate a curve in the road.
The truck reportedly left the roadway and ran into a ditch. Based on police reports, the SUV hit a cement culvert, overturning and then rolling several times. In the process, the man and his wife, 29-year-old Trina Haxton who was sitting in the front passenger seat, were both ejected from the truck.
According to the news report, the father was pronounced dead at the scene. The mother survived the crash and was taken by helicopter to Baltimore Shock Trauma where she was listed in critical condition. The couple’s two children, 4-year-old Lyndsey and 6-year-old Hayley, were sitting in the back seat and reportedly suffered only minor injuries — they were both taken to Kent General Hospital for medical treatment and later released, according to police.
Middletown man dies in Christmas Eve crash, DelmarvaNow.com, December 25, 2010