Energy absorbing bumpers, crumple zones, and seatbelts could not save the lives of backseat passengers, 13 year-old Mary and 17 year-old AnnaLeah. They were traveling in a four-door sedan driven by their mother, Marianne Karth.
Highway traffic slowed to a stop as the Karth sedan was hit from behind by a semi-truck. The first impact spun their blue, four-door sedan 180 degrees. The same semi-truck’s momentum caused a second impact which shoved the Karth sedan backwards underneath yet another truck’s trailer. The rear bar on the second truck’s trailer was not strong enough to prevent the Karth vehicle from going underneath. The rigid structure of the trailer’s steel frame effortlessly shattered the back window, which failed to protect the back of the Karth girls’ heads and bodies. AnnaLeah died instantly. Four days later, Mary died as a result of her catastrophic injuries.
None of the car’s manufactured, safety engineering made a difference to save the lives of Marianne’s daughters. Why? Because the dynamics of the crash resulted in a truck underride.
Little did Marianne Karth know at that moment, on May 4, 2013, that she would become one of the nation’s leading truck safety advocates working toward meaningful prevention of underride truck crashes.
Read more here: Broken Glass And Shattered Lives – A Mother’s Journey Through Grief Brings Hope For Preventing Underride Truck Crashes by Andrew Young
We were privileged to have Andy serve as the awesome panel moderator at the Underride Roundtable on May 5, 2016, at IIHS.