CHEROKEE COUNTY, Texas — A 35-year-old woman from Alto, Texas, tragically died March 3 in a rollover crash on southbound U.S. Highway 69, about three miles south of Rusk.
State troopers identified the victim as Erika Diaz.
Diaz was reportedly driving a 2005 Chevrolet Suburban south in the outside lane of Hwy 69 at a high rate of speed when she swerved to the left to avoid rear-ending another vehicle. Diaz then swerved back toward the right, causing her to lose control of her vehicle.
The Chevrolet entered a side skid to the right, lost both of its right-side tires, and rolled several times before coming to rest on its roof, authorities said.
Officials pronounced Diaz dead at the scene of the crash.
Authorities have not released any additional information about their investigation into the crash.
Commentary on the fatal rollover crash in Cherokee County
The law recognizes that auto manufacturers know that their vehicles will periodically be involved in accidents and requires them to build crashworthy vehicles for all types of reasonably foreseeable accidents, including rollover crashes.
Rollover accidents are among the leading causes of occupant deaths in single-vehicle crashes. Auto manufacturers, of course, are aware of the risks their vehicles pose to consumers in the event of this kind of crash. Some auto manufacturers intentionally limit safety features to cut costs despite being aware of these risks. In other words, they prioritize profits over the lives of people. I have spent more than 30 years holding these auto manufacturers accountable for their actions.
An exhaustive investigation needs to be conducted to determine if the SUV involved in this accident was crashworthy. Just because it only involved Ms. Diaz’s vehicle does not mean she caused her death. If the SUV was not equipped with safety features sufficient to protect its occupants in a reasonably foreseeable accident, then the fault rests on the auto manufacturer for failing to design and manufacture a crashworthy vehicle.
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