Teagan Nolan, 19, in Milton, WI, Killed in 2-Car Accident

Date: 3/5/2014.

Fatalities: 1.
Who: Teagan Kathleen-Jee Nolan, 19 (pictured right from Facebook account).
Injuries: Driver, 56, Male (Van) – Serious Condition. Front Passenger, 63, male (Van) – Minor.

Where: Milton, Wisconsin, at Highway 59 by E. Gould Rd.
Vehicles: 1996 Chevrolet Lumina, 2005 Ford Econoline van.
Seat belts: No (Teagan / Lumina).
Impact location: Passenger side (Lumina).

Summary: Per police reports, Teagan Nolan was driving her 1996 Chevrolet Lumina east and turning at the E. Gould Rd. curve when she lost control and began sliding east into the ditch. She tried to correct, the car spun to the left, entered the oncoming westbound traffic lane, and received a passenger side impact by the westbound Econoline van. She was pronounced dead at the scene.

Police Identified Factors: Speed, Road Conditions.

The Human Element: Teagan graduated from Milton High School in 2013, and was a Freshman at UW-Whitewater. She was also an Alpha Sigma sorority sister.

Preventative Factors:

Wearing her seat belt would have increased her odds of survival by 45% (IIHS).
Speed is implicated in nearly 1 out of every 3 motor vehicle fatalities (IIHS).

Vehicle Analysis:

The Chevy Lumina, classified as a large car by the IIHS, weighed 3331 lbs and received a “Good” frontal score. However, the impact was a side impact, and the Lumina did not come with any form of side airbag protection, significantly increasing Teagan’s odds of injury. Furthermore, the Lumina did not come with ESC, while ABS was only an optional feature, reducing Teagan’s odds of successfully recovering from a skid at any speed.

The Econoline van likely weighed around 4773 lbs, or 43% more than the Lumina or the 3300 lb SUV-like barrier used in IIHS side-impact tests. The impact speed was likely at least 55 mph, which is much higher than the 31 mph test speed used in the IIHS side test. In other words, she probably faced 3.1x the forces when looking at the speed alone, without even taking the additional mass of the Econoline into account. It is likely she would have faced significant injuries even with a seat belt and head/torso side airbags, but without them, her odds of survival were unfortunately extremely slim.

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