General Question

chelle21689's avatar

How do you suppose she died in the crash?

Asked by chelle21689 (5379 points ) October 2nd, 2013

I was reading the news and it turned out one of our anchor’s daughter ( anchor for our Buckeye football team) passed away from a car accident.

She was driving a Toyota Corolla and crashed into a stopped truck. I am guessing the speed limit was somewhere between 50–65. The truck was stopped because of heavy traffic in front I guess.

I’m wondering how the hell that happened. Not paying attention, no seat belt?? How the heck do people survive high impact but survive and some don’t in her situation?

http://www.nbc4i.com/story/23461028/i-270-reopens-at-cemetery-road-after-fatal-crash

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22 Answers

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Driving requires your total attention all the time. Any distraction can be bad. Semis are one of the worst things to rearend like that. There’s nothing on the bottom to spread out the crash energy.

chelle21689's avatar

Sad story. It was nice to hear the whole team lining up to show him support and give him a hug after he returned. This is why I stay away from the news lol…one negative story and I’m sad for them and makes me think.

zenvelo's avatar

She could have plowed head on while fiddling with the radio/CD player. Or lighting a cigarette. Or looking at the car next to her.

Driving is very dangerous.

Pachy's avatar

I suppose in a crash the difference between being killed or surviving could be as simple as which direction her head or body was turned. Could she have been texting?

chelle21689's avatar

It’s just odd how some people survive high impacts like these… such as going 60 mph and driving straight into a wall or even skydiving and falling a thousand feet and surviving!

Coloma's avatar

The human body is not designed to take massive impact trauma.
Impossible to say, only the girl would know and dead men don’t reveal much.
Any blunt force trauma can result in death. Chest trauma, broken neck, wounds that cause you to bleed out in minutes. Life is fragile.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@chelle21689 Crash testing is done by running the cars straight into a wall. The load gets dissipated over the entire front of the car. In real life that’s rarely the case. The impact is greater in some areas than other areas. If you’re in the low impact area it’s much more survivable.

Judi's avatar

Have they ruled out texting?

janbb's avatar

Wonder if she had the seatbelt on or if the airbags deployed?

chelle21689's avatar

Very fragile… =[

CWOTUS's avatar

Crashing into a wall, or even a head-on crash into another vehicle, allows the entire front of the car to crumple – as designed for crashworthiness – and absorb a lot of the impact. At the same time, the seat belt locks and prevents the person from moving forward more than allowed by the amount of slack that was already in the belt. Finally, the various air bags deploy and further restrain the person’s forward motion into the dashboard, windshield and the crumpling front end of the car, especially protecting the head.

Crashing into a stopped semi truck (trailer) is quite a bit different. In that case, the height mismatch between the vehicles often means that the bottom of the vehicle, which could have absorbed a lot of impact, often passes underneath the higher rear of the trailer. This means that the windshield is sometimes the first point of impact. Drivers are often decapitated in these types of collisions; no amount of “crash cage” engineering of the car, seat restraints or air bags can save a driver in this position.

In fact, one reason why “dead drunks” often survive collisions like this with relatively minor injuries is that they have slumped down in the seat or fallen asleep at the wheel with their head slumped below the point of collision. The car is wrecked, and they walk away. It’s still not a recommendation to drive drunk, though.

drhat77's avatar

if she drove under the truck the top half of the vehicle could have received the impact, and our vehicles are designed for the bottom half to take the impact. The airbags may have not activated in time, and anyway they would have been torn right through as the impact transfered almost directly into her head and torso.

chelle21689's avatar

@CWWOTUS yes I’ve always wondered how drunks always manage to survive! lol.

I guess lesson here is always be alert and not distracted when driving at high speeds especially =(

pleiades's avatar

My buddy did this in Las Vegas. He hopped onto the freeway, began accelerating and before he could get to a constant speed, he looked down at his iPod began shuffling looked up, BOOM!! Totalled his car. I have no idea how he’s alive.

Remember physics, the amount of force applied to the vehicle she hit is the amount of force she received back. I think in my buddies case because he was going near speeds of 60 was the seatbelt and his last second brace for impact. I think his car was actually made of metal linings too.

deni's avatar

TEXTING. I’d bet my life savings.

funkdaddy's avatar

This is the back of a semi trailer, that bar at the bottom was added after cars ended up under too many semis in relatively minor accidents, but that bar is all most people hit in small cars.

It stops minor crashes from being worse, but unfortunately causes a lot of damage at high speeds because it’s so narrow. The semi doesn’t move much because of the huge weight difference, so basically the car continues moving forward until the pressure from that small surface area dissipates the force of the crash. Sometimes it goes over the hood, sometimes it moves the engine back into the passenger compartment. Neither is good.

this is the intersection. I’m not sure why some want to blame the person who died with so little information, but it’s not tough to think of a situation where a stopped semi on a 4-lane highway would result in an accident even for an attentive driver.

ucme's avatar

Yeah, @CWOTUS is right. An ironic quirk of being stone cold drunk while driving in the event of a crash, your body is relaxed & able to absorb the high speed impact.
When you’re sober & you see a crash coming, your body automatically tenses leaving you far more breakable.

josie's avatar

I am familiar with the story you presented. The rumor is that she had been drinking. Only a rumor mind you.
Having said it, she probably died of cranial trauma.

ETpro's avatar

However it happened, it is a tragic story. Condolences to your local news anchor and family. To add to what @funkdaddy noted about what a car hits when it plows into the back of a big rig’s trailer, here is a forensic recreation video of an actual accident where a car hit the back of a limber truck. Notice where the bulk of the trailer is in relation to the front windshield of the car.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

There are far to many variables for me to answer that question.

@CWOTUS @ucme

However, studies have shown that an intoxicated body has a delayed and confused healing mechanism.

SecondHandStoke's avatar

Like @funkdaddy stated far too many accidents are fatal due to overheight bumpers.

Your car was designed to absorb impacts at the bumper. ANY other point of impact creates deadly compromise.

The bumper is also the designed impact point to trigger any passive safety systems.

If the other vehicle’s bumper is to high various lifesaving technologies (air bags, seat belt pretensioners, headrest activators, etc, etc.) don’t get their intended milliseconds to deploy.

This is in addition to the submarining effect explained above.

SUV pilots. Take note.

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