Deadly defect? Deaths expose flaws in semi-truck design

600 Americans died in one year from truck ‘underride’ crashes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Florida mother calls it a “deadly defect,” a flaw in the design of semi-trucks that records show is claiming hundreds of lives each year. But she says laws and industry-wide investments can save lives.

Lois Durso’s daughter, Roya Sadigh, was killed the day before Thanksgiving in 2004 when the car she was a passenger in went under the side of a semi-truck in Pennsylvania.

“It was a phone call,” Durso said, remembering the horrible news. “It was the emergency room doctor wanting to talk to me and he said that my daughter was in a crash in Indiana but she didn’t make it at the hospital.”

Her daughter’s fiancé, who was driving, survived. But Roya’s side of the vehicle was sardined under the truck trailer.

It’s called a truck underride crash and she’s pushing to increase the survivability of these types of wrecks.

“I think about where she would be, what she would be doing, I think about the children that she never had,” Durso said. “I think about the life that she would’ve had. And it breaks my heart. There is nothing worse than losing your child.”

DOCUMENT: Petition calls on lawmakers to pass underride regulations

The latest data collected by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety shows in 2018 approximately 600 Americans died from side and rear underride crashes. It’s estimated that around 280 people died in crashes involving side underride in 2018, according to numbers requested by News4Jax. IIHS figures show, on average since 2010, there are about 500 truck underride deaths annually, 300 of which involve side underride.

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