Only Idiots Buy An SUVs
Washington Post 'reports' below.
Failed to note that SUVs are notorious for rolling over w/ very little provocation.
And, the number of brain damaged victims created by auto industry each yr.
Six Hurt As SUV Flips on Beltway
Passengers Ejected In One-Car Accident Near Connecticut Ave.
By Maureen O'Hagan
Washington Post Staff Writer
Monday, January 29, 2001; Page B01
A small sport-utility vehicle loaded with six teenagers and young adults rolled over and crashed Saturday night on the Capital Beltway near Connecticut Avenue, ejecting five of the occupants onto the road, critically injuring one, Maryland State Police reported yesterday.
Authorities said that when officers arrived shortly after the 8 p.m. crash, the injured young people were scattered across the eastbound lanes of I-495, but none had been run over because other motorists were able to stop or drive around the victims.
The most seriously injured passenger, a 17-year-old from Gaithersburg whose name was not released, sustained severe head injuries, according to police. She remained in critical condition last night at Suburban Hospital, they said.
Maryland State Trooper J. Eichelberger said yesterday that the 17-year-old female driver was given blood alcohol tests but that the results had not been released. Police said that the driver -- whose name they withheld -- is from Gaithersburg and that the vehicle is registered to her parents.
No charges have been filed in the single-car crash, which shut down the inner loop of the Beltway for more than three hours.
The driver, who sustained minor injuries, was the only person in the two-door, soft-top 1996 Geo Tracker who was wearing a seat belt and the only person not thrown from the vehicle, police said.
"Even though we have one who's still critical, it's kind of amazing that the injuries weren't more serious," Eichelberger said.
Authorities said one person was riding in the front passenger seat, while the four others were in the back seat, one sitting on the lap of another occupant.
Police said the cause of the crash had not been determined. But Eichelberger said, "If they were going overly fast, the injuries probably would have been catastrophic."
He said that several of the victims were unconscious when officers arrived, and that all six were immediately hospitalized.
Authorities had not learned where the group was headed at the time of the accident, Eichelberger added.
Police identified the adult passengers as Israel Anthony Cabreia, 21, of Rockville; Victor Aleman Marquez, 25, address unknown; and Donnie Lopes, 21, address unknown. They and the driver have been released from the hospital.
The sixth occupant was another 17-year-old from Gaithersburg whose name was withheld. She remained at Suburban in fair condition, officials said.
Saturday's accident occurred as legislatures in Maryland and Virginia have focused attention on driving privileges and conditions for teenage motorists.
This year, Virginia Sen. William C. Mims (R-Loudoun) has sponsored legislation that would raise the age for obtaining a learner's permit and a driver's license by six months each, to 15 1/2 and 16 1/2, respectively. The bill would also limit the number of passengers a teenage driver may have and limit night driving.
In Maryland, a 1999 law required teenagers to wait four months between the time they receive their learner's permit and their driver's license. It also required parents to log 40 hours on the road teaching their children how to handle the car in various conditions.
Both states' legislation came in response to fatal crashes involving teenagers. Last fall alone, six high school students from the Richmond area lost their lives in car wrecks. Three Stafford County teenagers were also killed when a 16-year-old driver lost control of his car on Halloween night.
In a highly publicized Maryland case, a Montgomery County youth who had his driver's license for only two weeks lost control of his car on East West Highway in the summer of 1998, killing three people, including his best friend.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 1996 Geo Tracker two to three stars out of five in its crash ratings system. The stars reflect a 21 percent to 45 percent chance of serious injury in head-on crashes.
© 2001 The Washington Post Company