Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Jeffrie Whiting, 51, in Cherry Valley, IL, Killed in Car-Van Crash



The Who:

Date: 2/11/2014, ~ 9:15 PM.
Fatalities: 1. Jeffrey Whiting, 51.
Injuries: Sedona driver (non-life-threatening).

Where: U.S. 20 and Elgin St. in Cherry Valley,  IL.
Vehicles: 2001 Honda Civic, Kia Sedona (2002-2005).
Impact: Front impact (Civic), Passenger side (Sedona).

Humanity: Jeff Whiting is survived by Paula Lamont, his loving companion, as well as her children. He worked a Sports N More and had previously worked as a CAD engineer.

The How: Jeff was heading east on US 20 in his Civic, when he collided with a Sedona attempting to turn left to Elgin St. The front of the Civic collided with the passenger side of the Sedona. Both drivers required extrication. Jeff was taken to the hospital and died of his injuries before 4 AM.

The Why: 


Risk factors: Lighter car in collision, driving at night, high speed collision.

Protective factors: Good frontal impact score.

Vehicle analysis: As is often the case, the lighter vehicle fared worse in this collision. The 2001 Civic is rated "Good" in front impacts, but it also only weighed 2507 lbs. The 2002-2005 Sedona doesn't have a side impact rating, and doesn't have side airbags, so it would almost certainly have received a "Poor" rating. However, it also weighed 4,665 lbs. Even though the weight should not have impacted the forces the Sedona driver experienced due to its being a side impact, the weight did mean Jeff experienced 86% more force in the crash than he would have if he'd collided with another Civic.

Given the likely speeds of the collision (~65 mph), the collision likely imparted at least 480KJ of energy into the Civic / Sedona. The Civic frontal impact test simulates 182KJ of energy (a Civic impacting another at 40 mph). In other words, the Civic driver faced 264% of the force he'd have experienced in the type of crash her car was rated for. Given the speed of the collision, his odds of survival were low, and non-existent if he were unbelted.

The survival of the Sedona driver in a high speed side impact in a vehicle without airbags is noteworthy. He was likely protected by the greater ride height of his vehicle, possible seat belt use, and the fact that the vehicle impacting him weighed 32% less than the standard 3300-lb test sled used in IIHS side impact tests. The fact that the collision also occurred on the opposite side of the driver also made a significant difference; it is likely that the Sedona driver would have fared severely worse had the Civic impacted the driver's side door.

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