On June 30, 2013, The Tampa Tribune published a breaking news story where two passengers in a van that overturned on Sunday, June 30, 2013 on Interstate 75 in Sarasota died, while another passenger was in critical condition.
A 28-year-old resident of Cape Coral was driving the 1994 Dodge Ram van northbound on I-75 with seven passengers, when at 9:37 a.m.; the left rear tire of the van blew, thereby causing the van's driver to lose control according to troopers.
Just before the tire blew, the van was traveling north in the left lane. Once the tire blew, the van veered across the center and right lanes where it eventually overturned. After sliding the vehicle came to a rest on the east shoulder of the freeway, facing east.
Two of the passengers suffered fatal injuries from the collision; it was determined that they were wearing seatbelts. A third person who was not wearing a seatbelt was transported to Blake Medical Center in critical condition. The victim's name was not released.
Two more passengers were taken to Doctors Hospital in Sarasota, while one more person was taken to Venice Regional Medical Center; both were reported to be in serious condition according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
A 31-year-old passenger of Cape Coral was transported to Venice Regional Medical Center in serious condition, and the 28-year-old driver, who was also in serious condition, was taken to Blake Medical Center.
What Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law Could Do
We, at Smith & Stallworth, Attorneys at Law would investigate this case very carefully if any of the victims' family approached us for representation. We would first look into the possibility of potential manufacturer liability if there was a mechanical defect.
We would also consider whether there was some form of mechanic negligence in last preparing this van which was carrying special needs individuals. Additionally, we would also investigate whether or not the driver or other responsible company employees properly inspected the vehicle prior to proceeding on their journey.
Did the company have any responsibility to upgrade their transportation vehicles? Or, train their drivers in a manner that would not cause such a malfunction? Ultimately, there may be a lawsuit with multiple potential defendants even though the initial reports tend to lead to an incident absent of fault.