Fatal Fire Crashes, from 2006 to 2008
Hollywood officer killed in fatal crash
Sunday, Nov 23, 2008
Hollywood police on Sunday identified the officer killed in a fiery single-car wreck Saturday night as 31-year-old Alex Del Rio, a nine-year veteran currently assigned to traffic enforcement. On Saturday night, Del Rio’s colleagues were forced to work the fatal wreck that killed one of their own after Del Rios’ cruiser crashed into a tree and burst into flames, trapping him inside.
Officer’s family suing Ford over squad car’s fatal explosion
Tuesday, Oct 21, 2008
The family of Dwayne Freeto, the Fort Worth police officer who burned to death when his Crown Victoria squad car was rear-ended and burst into flames, is suing the Ford Motor Co., saying the car’s unreasonably dangerous design contributed to his death. … “Ford executives know that they are 140 percent more likely to be involved in this kind of accident. … But they don’t change any of the design or make the fuel system more robust knowing that they have this higher risk,” he (Mark Haney, the Fort Worth attorney representing the family) said.
The Year’s Poorest-Performing Cars
6. Ford Crown Victoria Why it’s a turkey: The Crown Vic is a mainstay for police and taxi fleets across the U.S. But its trusty “Panther” mechanical platform dates back nearly three decades, and its old-fashioned sheet metal runs on as if it were still 1992–the last time the Vic saw significant appearance changes. Even fitted with modern-side airbags, it can only muster “Moderate” side-impact results in IIHS crash tests, and because it’s been sold primarily to fleets, its resale value is unimpressive. For 2008, the Crown Victoria is no longer available to the public; it’s available for fleet purchase only.
Union, state strike deal on preventing cruiser fires
November 27, 2007
COLUMBUS (AP) – Fire-dousing equipment would be installed in more State Highway Patrol cruisers, sooner and at a lower cost, under a deal struck between the troopers’ union and the state. Arizona-based F.I.R.E. Panel LLC has agreed to wrap the fuel tanks of the patrol’s Crown Victoria cruisers in a protective cocoon that releases fire suppressants when ruptured.
The union pushed for the protection after two troopers – Trooper Joshua P. Risner and Patrol Sgt. Dale R. Holcomb – were killed in a fiery crash near Gallipolis in 2006.
Hershel M. Sigall, general counsel for the Ohio State Troopers Association, said the switch from more expensive fire-suppression devices will mean protecting all patrol cars – not just new ones – by early 2008. “The other way, people might be driving a vehicle two years or 16 months before they are able to avail themselves of this level of protection,” he said.
Boardman police to have trunk shields
November 17, 2007
BOARDMAN — Township trustees approved spending nearly $5,000 for equipment designed to protect police officers.
The board met in special session Friday and voted to buy 18 protective Kevlar shields designed for the trunks of Ford Crown Victoria police vehicles. The shields cost about $271 each and will be purchased from Donnell Ford, Boardman.
“We instituted an inspection of all of our Crown Victorias and found that 18 of them don’t have the shields in the trunk,” said Chief Patrick Berarducci.
Crash sends Austintown officer to hospital
By MARLY KOSINSKI Tribune Chronicle
November 12, 2007
YOUNGSTOWN—An Austintown police officer was critically burned and a Girard woman was arrested after a fiery crash early Sunday on Meridian Road.
Ross Linert, 48, was in critical condition Sunday night at the burn unit of Akron Children’s Hospital, according to family members. Reports said the officer has first-, second- and third-degree burns and is on a ventilator.
SOURCE: Tribune Chronicle
Ford limits Crown Victoria sales
Ford Motor Co. dealers will no longer sell the Crown Victoria to customers at retail. Fewer than eighty 2007 Crown Victorias remain on dealer lots nationwide now, and there are no plans to deliver 2008 versions of the vehicle to dealers, Ford’s top sales analyst, George Pipas, told the Free Press. In place of the Crown Victoria, Ford will continue to direct car customers to the large Ford Taurus, midsize Fusion and compact Focus, Pipas said.
Ford To Halt Crown Vic Sales to Public
According to a story in the Cleveland Plain Dealer on October 27, 2007, Ford has made a decision to stop selling its deadly Crown Victoria model to the public. The article says Ford will continue to sell these fire traps to police departments and cab companies, however.
The company blamed slow sales and increasing decisions by police to buy ‘faster” alternatives to the Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, although police say it’s because alternatives are safer.http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2007/10/
Ford’s Panther line of cars, which consists of the Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car and Grand Marquis, is the oldest auto platform in North America. They are the only cars still designed with the fuel tank located outside the protection of the rear axel and within the car’s “crush zone.” No other passenger cars manufactured on this continent have retained this fuel tank position because it has been considered too dangerous. At least five million of these unprotected vehicles are estimated to be in use on roads today.
More than 30law enforcement officers have burned to death after their Crown Victoria Police Interceptors (patrol cars, or CVPIs) were rear-ended from behind. Hundreds more civilians have died in Ford civilian Crown Victorias, Lincoln Town Cars and Grand Marquis.
Two Law Enforcement Officers die in October 2007
Patrolman Scott Eric Bell
Jacksonville, Florida Patrolman Scott Eric Bell, 50, was killed late Friday, Oct. 12, when a van collided with his patrol car. The patrol car caught fire and Bell died at the scene, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Bell was driving west at New Berlin Road at 11:30 p.m. when a Ford Aerostar driven in the opposite lane by Joseph May, 57, of Jacksonville turned into Bell’s path, according to Lt. Bill Leeper, a Highway Patrol spokesman. The van struck the driver’s side of the police car, which spun out of control, hit a power pole and burst into flames, Leeper said. Leeper said investigators found evidence that would indicate May was drinking before the collision, but had not filed any charges. He said investigators were waiting for results from toxicology tests. Bell had worked for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for seven years. He is survived by a wife and four children.
Officer George Brentar
Euclid, Ohio Police Officer George Brentar, 49, lost his life Wednesday, Oct. 10, when his Crown Victoria police cruiser erupted into flames after hitting a pole. The officer had started tracking down a speeder when his cruiser hydroplaned and spun into a pole, said Euclid police Sgt. Andy Veres. Several off-duty duty Erie, Pa. police officers drove by and pulled over to help. They were trying to get Brentar out of the cruiser when it erupted into flames. They said he was a 22-year veteran of the force.
Ford Still Mum on Deadly Design Flaw
Ford’s Panther line of cars, which consists of the Crown Victoria, Lincoln Town Car and Grand Marquis, is designed with the fuel tank located outside the protection of the rear axel and within the car’s “crush zone.” No other passenger cars manufactured in North America have retained this fuel tank position because it has been considered too dangerous. At least five million of these unprotected vehicles are estimated to be in use on roads today. More >
At least 21 law enforcement officers have burned to death after their Crown Victoria Police Interceptors (patrol cars, or CVPIs) were rear-ended from behind. Hundreds more civilians have died in Ford civilian Crown Victorias, Lincoln Town Cars and Grand Marquis. (List by state, www.autosafety.org.)
2 troopers, woman die in blazing crash
Mystery surrounds wreck of vehicles in Gallia County
Friday, September 29, 2006
Mary Beth Lane
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
GALLIPOLIS, Ohio — … It’s unclear whether the cruiser was parked at the time, about 5:50 a.m. It’s possible, a patrol spokesman said, that Holcomb, a 21-year veteran, was on a supervisory ride-along with the younger trooper. In fact, the patrol could say little yesterday about what occurred in the seconds before the pickup truck Smith was driving plowed into the back of the cruiser and the vehicles exploded, leaving a charred tangle of metal.
SOURCE: The Columbus Dispatch, www.dispatch.com
In-depth examination begins of vehicles involved in Gallia County triple-fatality crash
COLUMBUS – Nationally renowned crash reconstruction and engineering experts from around the United States began today an in-depth examination of the vehicles involved in last weeks triple-fatality crash in Gallia County.
Wesley Chapel fashion model dies in New Jersey accident
TRENTON, N.J. (AP)—… She was en route to the airport in a car-service limo Saturday morning when the vehicle broke down in the center lane of the turnpike, and was rear-ended by a sport utility vehicle. State Police last week said the Crown Victoria, in which Bratton was a passenger, was struck by a Toyota RAV4 at southbound Exit 14. …The RAV4 and the sedan both caught on fire. Bratton was trapped inside and pronounced dead at the scene.
Ford owners not told of ways to reduce fuel-tank fire risk
By James Polk and Susan Candiotti, CNN
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
MOCKSVILLE, North Carolina (CNN) — The parents of three sisters burned to death in a rear-end crash are asking Ford Motor Co. to install the same gas tank protective devices in regular models as it did for its police cars. SOURCE: cnn.com
September, 2005: Ford letter to Executive Coach, “no defect…” (click here)
Friday, January 20, 2006
Grieving couple urge Ford to do more
Howells, who lost children in fiery limo wreck, say they want to ensure safety
By James Romoser, JOURNAL REPORTER
MOCKSVILLE—The parents of three sisters who died in 2003 in a limousine fire said yesterday that their two-year legal battle with Ford Motor Co. illuminated a serious fuel-tank safety problem and made other limos safer. SOURCE: www.journalnow.com
Thursday, January 19, 2006
Family, Ford settle wrongful-death lawsuit
Sisters were killed when limo was hit from behind, caught fire
By James Romoser, JOURNAL REPORTER
The family of three sisters who burned to death in a limousine wreck on Interstate 40 reached an out-of-court settlement with Ford Motor Co. yesterday, ending a wrongful-death lawsuit over the design of the vehicle’s fuel tank. SOURCE: www.JournalNow.com