During the late 1990s and early 2000s, we covered all types of RV accidents because the structural integrity of the RVs was very poor (unfortunately, it still is to this day). We "chased" accidents somewhat like ambulance-chasing attorneys of the TV fame, but our reasons were to study the accident and the results so that we could bring our members and readers factual information about the construction and integrity of RVs.
In going through our archives, we came across a particular accident that happened relatively close to where we live and work. KIRO-TV News in Seattle contacted JD Gallant for an interview about the fatal crash that took the life of a father and a husband during a family vacation trip in Port Angeles, WA. The second accident also took the life of Richard Young, an RVer returning home from a vacation with his wife Peggy when he took a corner of an on ramp too fast and the motorhome flipped over, the roof caving in and trapping Richard inside, who died from brain injuries later.
The investigative reporter from KIRO-TV News followed the trail of complaints by RV owners to the National Highway Traffic Safety Agency (NHTSA) and found thousands of complaints ranging from the structure to mechanical failures.
We would like to share with you that video to give you a good idea of what typically happens to an RV and its occupants during such a devastating crash. Please note that what actually ended up killing the driver in the Port Angeles accident was not the final landing spot of the RV, but an overhead cabinet that detached when the motorhome hit another vehicle.
Fifth wheels and travel trailers are not exempt from fatal accidents, but that will be another post.
We cannot emphasize enough to our members and readers the importance of selecting motor homes, in particular, with an adequate wheelbase-to-length ratio. You will find that information in our RV Ratings Guides.
The video is in two parts, discussing 2 fatal accidents - we apologize for the poor quality of this older video:
Part 1: https://vimeo.com/338467486
Part 2: https://vimeo.com/2165938
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