CASCADE COUNTY, Mont. — Sandy Hayes, 58, was killed Oct. 29 in a rollover accident on Interstate 15, near the 268-mile marker just south of Ulm.
Hayes was driving a Ford pickup truck at about 8 a.m. when his vehicle traveled into the median for reasons that have not yet been determined, according to a local news report. He overcorrected, causing the truck to cross both northbound lanes, crash through the guardrail, and roll several times.
First responders transported Hayes to the Benefits Health System in Great Falls, where he succumbed to his injuries at about 8:40 p.m. that evening.
The victim was wearing a seatbelt and the road was dry when the accident happened. A report from the Montana Highway Patrol said drugs may have factored into the crash because some of the chemicals within Hayes’ blood were of narcotic nature.
No additional information about the accident or Hayes’ tragic death was immediately available.
COMMENTARY ON THE SANDY HAYES ACCIDENT
I am saddened to learn that Mr. Hayes was killed in this unfortunate rollover crash.
Rollovers, such as this one, are far too common on our nation’s highways, particularly among light trucks and SUVs. Mr. Hayes was reported to have been driving a Ford pickup when the accident occurred. I have represented hundreds of clients in similar accidents all across the country. I am disturbed by some auto makers who cut corners to save money at the expense of human suffering and loss of life. In one study conducted on Ford Explorers, we found that an investment of only $20 per vehicle could boost the safety of the vehicle in a rollover by 2-3 times.
To read more about our research into vehicle rollovers, read my article The Making of an Epidemic. As a responsible citizen, I will continue to do what I can to increase public awareness about the dangers of poor vehicle design and to influence automakers to implement improved engineering and safety features in their vehicles.
My heartfelt condolences go out to Mr. Hayes’ family and loved ones.
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