DOUGLAS COUNTY, Minn. — Tim Lovaasen, 73, and his brother, Russ Lovaasen, 69, were injured Nov. 27 in a 1-vehicle rollover accident on Interstate 94, west of Highway 79.
Tim Lovaasen, a Bloomington resident, drove a 2012 Ford Expedition into the center median for unknown reasons while driving east on I-94. The SUV went airborne and rolled before coming to rest on its wheels, according to a local news report.
The driver’s injuries were not life-threatening but his brother, Russ Lovaasen, a resident of Minneapolis, suffered injuries that were reported as life-threatening.
Authorities have not released any additional information about the accident, including factors that may have contributed to the crash.
Commentary on fatal rollover accidents
I was disheartened to read of yet another rollover crash, this one involving Tim and Russ Lovaasen. Authorities have not released sufficient details to discern the cause of the crash. In my three decades as a personal injury attorney, I have worked on hundreds of cases with very similar accident scenarios. I have spent most of that time raising a warning cry about the design flaws inherent in certain vehicles, particularly SUVs and light trucks, that lead to rollovers. To learn more about my rollover crash research, read this study.
Rollover rates among SUVs and light trucks are higher than any other vehicle type each year. They are more likely than any other type of vehicle to roll in an accident and are more likely to result in a fatality than other rollovers, according to a study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The study found that most fatal rollover crashes are also single-vehicle accidents. Tim Lovaasen was driving an SUV and his rollover accident involved no other vehicles, which makes his accident a textbook rollover crash set-up. Fortunately, both brothers survived the crash.
Auto engineers are well-aware of the tendency of SUVs and light trucks to roll, yet they continue to manufacture vehicles with a wheelbase too narrow for the vehicle’s height. They know full well that without sufficient roof strength to withstand the impact of a rollover, the roof will potentially cave in and deal a fatal blow to the passenger’s head.
I will continue to raise public awareness regarding design flaws to pressure manufacturers. My hope is that automakers will improve engineering design and safety standards to reduce rollover rates, thereby making our roadways safer for everyone.
My thoughts are with the Lovaasen brothers, who I hope experience speedy and full recoveries.
Disclaimer: All information contained within this post was compiled from public sources or constitutes the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if you identify any false or misleading information.