Monday, March 17, 2014
Sarah Sanagan, 29, near Crete, IL, Killed in Car vs. Semi Crash
Who: Sarah Sanaghan, 29.
Where: W. Burville Rd. and IL-394 near Crete, IL.
Vehicles: Chevrolet Cruze (2011-2014) and Peterbilt semi-truck with tanker.
Impact Location: Front passenger area.
Human Element: Sarah was a single mother of an 11-year old boy named Elijah. She lost her twin sister, Cari, nearly 18 years earlier in almost exactly the same location due to a hit and run driver, her neighbor, who took 3 lives and was released from prison 1 year later.
Sarah was driving westbound on Burville Rd. She stopped at the intersection with I-394 and then apparently pulled out in front of the Peterbilt semi that was heading south. The collision occurred at around 5:40 A.M., and Sarah was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead 20 minutes later. The coroner described the cause of death as blunt force head trauma.
(The location of the collision).
Risk Factors: Lighter vehicle, late night driving, high speed impact.
Protective Factors: Side airbags.
Vehicle Analysis: The Cruze, classified as a small car by the IIHS, weighs approximately 3158 lbs. A Peterbilt tanker truck can weigh upwards of 58,000 lbs. Statistically, in 98% of car-large truck collisions where there is a fatality, the fatality involves a car passenger, and unfortunately, this was no exception. Although the Cruze had side airbags and a "Good" side impact score and the impact occurred on the opposite side from the driver, the truck likely placed 17.6x more force on the Cruze than that simulated in the side-impact test with a 3300 lb SUV-like barrier. The odds of surviving such an impact in any passenger vehicle would, sadly, be extremely slim. It is unknown whether or not Sarah was wearing a seat belt. It is unclear why Sarah pulled out in front of the semi-, but given the dynamics of the intersection and the time of day, it is possible that she may have been so focused on crossing the four lanes of traffic that she did not notice the oncoming semi in the low visibility conditions.
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