Deana May Igoe, 86, in Sisters, OR, Killed in Car vs. SUV Crash

unsplash-hail-flowersWho:


Deana May
Igoe, 86, was killed at around 9:15 AM on Monday, 4/28/14, on Highway 20 close to Santiam Pass, just west of Sisters, OR. She was eastbound in a 2008 Ford Fusion and collided with a westbound 2013 Volvo XC60. Winston Saunders, 57, drove the Volvo, and he and his passenger, Sara Stamey, 56, were treated for injuries. Saunders’ injuries were minor, while Stamey’s were serious but not life-threatening. Igoe died at the scene.

How:

Per police reports, all occupants were using seat belts and airbags in both vehicles deployed. Igoe was westbound close to milepost 82 on Highway 20 when her vehicle began to skid on the ice and she lost control. she crossed lanes and was impacted on the passenger’s side by the Volvo.

Why:
Unfortunately, Igoe appears to have lost control due to the ice. It is unclear whether she was traveling too fast for conditions. The 2008 Fusion did not come with ESC, which might have helped her retain control of the vehicle on the ice, preventing the loss of control that led to the collision.

The Fusion is classified as a midsized car. It has a “good” side score, and came with head and torso side airbags standard. The 2013 XC60 weighs ~4169 lbs as a midsize SUV. It had a “good” frontal crash score.

Given the likely speeds of the collision (~55 mph), the collision likely imparted at least 572KJ of energy into the Fusion / XC60. The standard side impact test simulates 143KJ of energy (a 3300-lb sled impacting a vehicle at 31 mph). In other words, the Fusion occupant faced 400% of the force she’d have experienced in the types of crashes cars are side rated for. Sadly, her odds of survival were not high, despite the good side impact score of her vehicle and the fact that she was sitting opposite the side of impact.

Meanwhile, the Volvo was designed to perform well in a frontal impact test simulating 302KJ of energy (i.e., a Volvo impacting its twin at 40 mph). The Volvo occupants faced 189% of these forces. Their survival was expected, despite the significantly higher forces, and is a testament to the “good” frontal score, the presence of front airbags, and the occupants’ use of seat belts. I’m not sure why the passenger was seriously injured, and would have expected her to have fared as well as the Volvo’s driver, based on the vehicles and forces involved.

This is one of the few cases I’ve come across of fatalities occurring among passenger vehicles with “good” side impact scores impacted by other passenger vehicles. It is possible that Igoe’s advanced age placed her at greater risk of experiencing a fatality in this crash, as well as the fact that she faced significantly greater forces than her vehicle was designed to safely withstand in a side impact.

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