Whatcom County Sheriff’s Son Seriously Injured in I-5 rollover crash
A single-vehicle rollover crash on northbound I-5 near Alger late Tuesday, December 18 sent the son of Whatcom County Sheriff Bill Elfo, William J. Elfo, 27, to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition. Elfo was airlifted to Harborview and checked into the intensive care unit upon arrival.
According to the Washington State Patrol (WSP) report on the crash, Ferndale resident William J. Elfo was driving a white 2002 Subaru Legacy about 11:22 p.m. near milepost 240 when the car entered the median. He overcorrected in an effort to get back onto the road causing the car to roll over several times across both lanes before landing in the grass between the freeway and the exit.
In a decision reserved for very severe injuries, I-5 was shut down for a short period so that a helicopter could land on the freeway to airlift the injured driver to Harborview.
The Subaru was impounded and written off as a total loss.
What are the top causes of a rollover crash?
At the time this post was written the investigation into the cause of the rollover crash was still ongoing. What we do know is that supported by data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are six main factors that contribute to the risk of vehicle rollover accidents.
According to NHTSA data, almost 85 percent of all rollover accident deaths are the direct result of single-vehicle crashes. What this means is that the vast majority of rollover accidents only involve one vehicle.
Type of vehicle
While any type of vehicle could be part of a vehicle rollover, SUVs, pickup trucks and vans are at increased risk because of their height and shape; they are taller and narrower than most other types of vehicles. The higher center of gravity that accompanies the height and shape puts these drivers and passengers at increased risk for a rollover accident if they are involved in a single-vehicle crash.
Approximately 40 percent of fatal rollover car accidents involve excessive speeding. Fatal rollover car crashes more often involve speeding than other types of fatal car accidents. Of particular note is that almost 75 percent of fatal rollovers took place on roadways with a posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour or higher.
Driving while intoxicated
Almost half of all fatal rollover crashes involve a drunk driver. Even a slight impairment can be enough to reduce muscle coordination and reflexes and blur vision, which increases the chance of losing control of your vehicle.
Roads with clear divisions and barriers help to decrease the risk of rollover accidents but rural roads tend not to have these safety measures. As a result, almost 75 percent of fatal rollovers happen on rural roads and in rural areas with a typically posted speed limit of 55 miles per hour or higher.
NHTSA data suggests that more than 90 percent of fatal, single-vehicle rollover crashes involved a driver doing routine driving maneuvers like driving straight ahead and taking a curve or turn in the road. From this finding we may be able to infer that driver behavior such as distracted or impaired driving, type of vehicle and road conditions play the biggest roles in the risk of rollover accidents.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an injury as a result of an accident or error caused by the negligence of another, you have enough on your plate. Let an experienced accident attorney fight for the full compensation that you deserve. It is not uncommon to receive a settlement from the insurance company that is five to ten times bigger with the help of a lawyer. Call the personal injury lawyers at Tario & Associates, P.S. in Bellingham, WA today for a FREE consultation! We have been representing residents of Whatcom County, Skagit County, Island County and Snohomish County since 1979. You will pay nothing up front and no attorney fees at all unless we recover damages for you!