Product Liability

Single-vehicle crash in Ohio kills one woman, sets off multi-car collision

Police in Oberlin, Ohio are investigating a mysterious crash that claimed the life of a restaurant server who was on her way to work when she suddenly lost control of her vehicle Tuesday morning and crashed head-on with a tractor trailer.

According to Elyria, Ohio’s Chronicle-Telegram, Sandra Linden, 55, or Norwalk, Ohio, was traveling on U.S. route 20 in her gray minivan when the crash occurred. Witnesses said Ms. Linden’s vehicle swerved suddenly and struck the tractor trailer, which was traveling in the opposite direction.

The commercial truck, driven by a New Knoxville, Ohio, man then collided with a pickup truck driven by a resident of New London, Ohio, and burst into flames. The drivers of both trucks were injured in the collision, but the driver of the commercial truck refused treatment. The driver of the pickup truck was treated at Mercy Allen hospital in Oberlin and released later in the day.

After Ms. Linden struck the tractor trailer, her van spun out and collided with a Volkswagen Beetle and a Ford Fusion. The woman driving the Beetle was also treated at treated at the Oberlin hospital and later released.

The driver of the Ford Fusion told police that Ms. Linden was driving under the 55-mph speed limit and had not attempted to pass any vehicles because there were none driving directly in front of her. Ms. Linden tried to veer back into her lane after crossing the center line, the witness reported, but she was too far over and didn’t have enough time to avoid crashing with the truck.

Ohio authorities are uncertain what caused Ms. Linden to swerve into oncoming traffic, and the 5-car crash remains under investigation. Police were contacting Ms. Linden’s family to see if she had any medical conditions that could have led her to lose control of her minivan.

Another possible cause – one investigators often discover contributed to or caused a single-vehicle crash, may be a design defect or mechanical problem in the vehicle.