Monday, September 22, 2014

Delfin Ignacio, 45, in Port Orchard, WA, Killed in Car vs. Pickup Crash

Who:
Delfin Ignacio, 45, was killed at around 10 PM on 5/22/14 just east of Port Orchard, Washington, on State Highway 16. He drove a 1998 Ford Escort ZX2 the wrong way down the highway and crashed into a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado driven by Anthony Swinsinski, 27, just before the off ramp for Mullenix Road.

How:
Per police reports, troopers received calls about Ignacio due to his erratic westbound highway driving. He then turned and started heading east in the westbound lanes of SH 16, which led to his collision with the Silverado. He was pronounced dead at the scene, while Swinsinski required 10 minutes of extrication and suffered a broken ankle. Police stated alcohol was a factor in the crash, which made it at least the 3rd time Ignacio had driven drunk.

Why:
Once again, alcohol was the root of a wrong-way head-on crash. One out of every 3 deaths on our roads occur due to alcohol, and these kinds of crashes explain why. The history of the drunk driver also points to the clear and present need to reform our drinking laws in the United States. He had been arrested for driving drunk on two separate occasions (2003 and 2009), and yet was still eligible to drive and decided to drive drunk again that night.


The 1998 Escape weighs 2538 lbs and comes with an "acceptable" IIHS frontal score. It was impacted by a 2000 Silverado that weighs 4709 lbs, or 186% of the Fusion's weight.  As a result, the Escape automatically faced 86% more force in the collision than it would have colliding with another Escape, placing it at a severe disadvantage in the collision.

Given the likely speeds of the collision (~55 mph), the collision likely imparted at least 646KJ of energy into the Escort. The Escort frontal impact test simulates 184KJ of energy (an Escort impacting another at 40 mph). In other words, the Escort faced 351% of the force it would have experienced in the type of crash the vehicle was rated for. Given these forces, death was a near-certainty.

The Silverado's frontal test simulates 341KJ of energy (a Silverado impacting another at 40 mph), indicating that its occupant would have faced 102% of the forces the vehicle was rated to safely withstand, given that the Escort imparted 348KJ of energy into the Chevy. Despite the marginal "front" score, this was clearly a survivable collision for the Chevy's occupant, which was reflected in the survival of the driver with nothing more than a shattered ankle.

Once again, the decision to drink and drive led to a needless death. Fortunately, the individual who had been driving sober and legally did not lose his life in the process.

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