Dorothy Galloway + Howard Riddle, in Rockford, IL Killed in 2-Car Crash

 

The Who:

Date: 9/29/2013.
Fatalities: 2 (Galloway at scene, Riddle in December)
Who: Dorothy Galloway, 65. Howard Riddle, 67.
Injuries: All the folks in the Elantra. Driver in critical condition, two others minor injuries.

Where: Rockford, IL. 300 Block Spring Creek Rd.
Vehicles: White Chrysler 300 (2005-2013). Black Hyundai Elantra (2007-2010).
Impact Location: Front full overlap (est.)

The human element: Dorothy was a community volunteer, and served as a board member for MotherHouse and as an AIDS Care Network executive director.

The How:

Summary: The occupants of the Elantra were driving eastbound close to Anderson Gardens on Spring Creek Road, crossed the median, and crashed into a westbound Chrysler 300. Galloway was sitting in the passenger seat while her husband drove. Galloway died at the scene, while her husband, Riddle, was seriously injured and died some months later in the hospital.

The Why:

Risk factors: 
Speed (Police reported the Elantra was speeding).
Drug use (Police reported the Elantra driver was using drugs while driving).
Age (older passengers are more likely to suffer serious injuries in a given crash than younger ones).

Protective factors: 
Heavier vehicle (lower forces experienced on impact).

Vehicle analysis: The results of this crash were surprising. Typically, the occupants of the heavier vehicle fare better than those in the smaller vehicle. Here, the opposite result was found. The Elantra likely weighed around 2895 lbs, while the 300 likely weighed around 3766 lbs, or 30% more. This indicates the occupants of the Elantra should have experienced 30% more force in the collision.

However, both fatalities occurred in the heavier vehicle, even though the occupants of the lighter vehicle did suffer injuries. The video captures indicate the side and front airbags deployed in the Elantra, while front airbags deployed in the 300. It is unclear if side airbags were present in the 300. Although the impact appears to have been a head-on collision, the side bag deployment in the Elantra may have offered additional protection to the occupants. The higher speed of the Elantra relative to the 300 also likely yielded it an advantage in the collision. Both vehicles had “Good” front scores. However, presuming the collision occurred at 55 mph instead of around 40 mph, the occupants of both vehicles would have experienced 89% more force, irrespective of vehicle weight, than the tested speeds (40 mph) at which the vehicles received “Good” front scores. Furthermore, it is unclear whether or not the 300 occupants were wearing seat belts. It is likely that the speed of the impact and age of the occupants were the most significant contributors to their deaths.

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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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