Monday, October 4, 2010

CBC: 15-passenger van crash kills 4 in U.S.

A 1987 Dodge Ram 15 passenger van like the one in which four people were killed on Sunday, October 3, 2010 in Georgia.

Click here to read original story on CBC

The crash of an overloaded 15-passenger van in Georgia is again raising concerns about the safety of the vehicles.

Four people died Sunday and 15 others from a church group were injured when the 1987 Dodge Ram Wagon van blew a tire and overturned.

The accident happened just three days after two Canadian mothers who lost their sons in separate crashes appealed to provincial transportation ministers to pull the vehicles off the road.

Isabelle Hains and Stella Gurr took their arguments to Halifax where the transport ministers were meeting. A Transport Canada report on the vans was discussed, but not made public.

The federal government has promised to make a decision on the vans by the end of this year.

Fifteen-passenger vans have been involved in some horrific accidents, including one in New Brunswick, which killed seven students and a teacher in 2008.

The U.S. National Transportation Safety Board reports 1,100 people have been killed in single-vehicle rollovers involving the vans between 1992 and 2002.

A U.S. study found that the weight of passengers and luggage in the backs of the vans places the centre of gravity too far back and too high, making the vans difficult to control.

The NTSB report concluded the stability of the vans decreases when fully loaded. It recommended they only be driven by trained, experienced drivers who have additional training.

In Sunday's crash, the van was loaded beyond its capacity. It flipped several times after blowing a tire, and some of the occupants were ejected.

No other vehicles were involved in the accident.

Click here to read original story on CBC