Two fatal accidents in which auto defects are suspected occurred on New Year’s Eve. Five people lost their lives in the first accident that took place in another state, and three more died in an accident in Tennessee. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration agreed to investigate the first crash and has now been asked also to look into the Tennessee accident to determine whether these deaths were caused by unsafe motor vehicles.
At 11 a.m. on New Year’s Eve, 7-year-old twin boys and their parents were stopped in a minivan at a red traffic light at an intersection on Highway 41 when a Kia Optima smashed into the rear of the minivan. One of the boys died on impact, and his brother was rushed to a Nashville medical center, where he died later. The Kia Optima driver survived until the following day, but prior to her death, she apparently told authorities that the gas pedal seemed to have stuck, leaving her unable to avoid crashing into the minivan.
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The parents of the twins were both hospitalized with critical injuries, and a man who was a passenger in the Kia was reported to be in a stable condition in the hospital. On the same day, a Toyota Yaris smashed into a vehicle in California, leaving no skid marks to indicate braking. NHTSA will be investigating that accident.
Authorities are suspicious and concerned about the possibility of defective gas pedals or other possible mechanical malfunctions that may have caused these tragic accidents. Tennessee residents who have suffered injuries or lost loved ones in accidents that are suspected to have been caused by unsafe motor vehicles are entitled to retain the services of experienced product liability attorneys to assess the viability of lawsuits to pursue financial relief. In appropriate cases, the vehicle manufacturer along with the entire chain of supply can be named as defendants in order to seek full accountability for financial and emotional damages.