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Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:03 PM

SUV falls 60 ft over guard rail at Bronz Zoo - seven dead

including three children - off the Bronx River parkway. All passengers had on seat belts.

http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/29/several-killed-as-vehicle-plunges-into-bronx-zoo/
Seven people were killed on Sunday after a minivan that they were in lost control and fell several dozen feet from a Bronx River Parkway overpass, coming to rest in an area of the Bronx Zoo, law enforcement officials said.

Three of the dead in the one-vehicle accident were children, said a spokesman for the Fire Department, Jim Long. All of the dead were in the minivan; a city official said that the police believe the victims are from a single Bronx family.

The accident occurred around 12:30 p.m. on the southbound lanes of the parkway, just north of East 180th Street. A police spokesman said that the minivan was heading south in the passing lane when it lost control and struck the median; witnesses told the police that it appeared that a tire had blown.
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Word is that the bridge is functionally obsolete.

14 replies, 2220 views

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Arrow 14 replies Author Time Post
Reply SUV falls 60 ft over guard rail at Bronz Zoo - seven dead (Original post)
malaise Apr 2012 OP
cali Apr 2012 #1
cthulu2016 Apr 2012 #2
malaise Apr 2012 #3
cthulu2016 Apr 2012 #4
Zalatix Apr 2012 #5
cthulu2016 Apr 2012 #8
flvegan Apr 2012 #13
Zalatix Apr 2012 #14
malaise Apr 2012 #6
onehandle Apr 2012 #7
PavePusher Apr 2012 #10
Stinky The Clown Apr 2012 #11
FarCenter Apr 2012 #12
Aerows Apr 2012 #9

Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:04 PM

1. Horrible.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:08 PM

2. Must have landed upside down (?)

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #2)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:09 PM

3. You're right

There's a photo at the link and they showed it on TV news as well

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Response to malaise (Reply #3)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:13 PM

4. That's the one direction that isn't protected

They have toughened up SUV roofs some due to higher incidence of roll-overs, but there are practical limits.

A 30 foot drop is no joke but probably much less force than driving into a barrier at highway speed, and in such cases you wouldn't expect belted up kids in the back to all die.

Also, the air bags are all the wrong direction for a roof-impact. (Understandably)

Hence my (grim) guess.

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:15 PM

5. Is it even possible to reinforce the roof?

 

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:30 PM

8. Yes, but within limits

When SUVs became popular their higher center of gravity led to a lot of rollover accidents so they made the roofs (and posts between the windows) stronger, but there are limits.

Even if the structural integrity of the passenger compartment is not compromised, every bit of safety design is for impact from the front, side and rear, as it should be.

So there's no protection. Seatbelts and airbags aren't designed for it. The energy absorbing joints in cars aren't aligned that way.

There's probably no vehicle that would take a 30 foot drop onto the roof well.

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Response to Zalatix (Reply #5)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 11:04 PM

13. Yes, but a rollcage would interfere with space and be ugly to look at.

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Response to flvegan (Reply #13)

Mon Apr 30, 2012, 12:43 AM

14. I'll take ugly over dead, that is, if a roll cage would work for a 30 foot drop.

 

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Response to cthulu2016 (Reply #4)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:16 PM

6. Looks like a blown tire

Damn - it's easy to die.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:16 PM

7. Let The Infrastructure Fail! Rmoney, Boner, and Eddie Munster have shown the way. nt

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Response to onehandle (Reply #7)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 09:20 PM

10. I'm not seeing how that had anything to do with this.

 

Blowing a tire at 70 mph will cause almost any vehicle to crash, more likely if a front than a rear, but bad news either way.

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #10)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:01 PM

11. There are some very old roadways in that part of NYC

That parkway is one of them. No shoulders. Very low guardrails. No crushable barriers. Lanes narrower than standard by several feet. No accel/decell lanes. Quite simply, there is no margin for error, as this accident appears to demonstrate.

Very tragic.

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Response to Stinky The Clown (Reply #11)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 10:28 PM

12. Looked like there was a curb, sidewalk, and low guardrail

They said it crossed a couple lanes before going off. It probably hit the curb, which launched it enough to put it over the guardrail and flip it.

Coming down on the roof, I don't think that the seatbelt retractors will lock up.

They were better when seatbelts first came out and you adjusted the length to fit manually.

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Response to malaise (Original post)

Sun Apr 29, 2012, 07:49 PM

9. Awful tragedy

So incredibly sad.

I like that folks are discussing ways to strengthen the positioning of airbags to prevent such tragedies. Ordinary people have been known to come up with ideas to help prevent injuries, and group brain power is an amazing thing when directed toward good causes.

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