SUV rollover kills college student, injures six others

A day doing good turned horribly bad when the GMC Envoy swerved onto the highway’s shoulder, rolled over and flipped upright, back onto its tires. A 19-year-old student had been ejected in the violent vehicular somersault near Charlestown Township. Not far from the now-silent and mangled vehicle, she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Six other students who had been inside the Envoy were briefly hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries and then released, a newspaper reported.

State police investigators are trying to determine the cause of the deadly crash. We won’t speculate about what happened in the tragedy, but we do know that rollovers have plagued SUV owners and passengers for years.

Two versions of the 2004 GMC Envoy the students were in were tested by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, according to a CNN report from early that year. The two-wheel drive Envoy received three stars out of a possible five in the rollover tests. The four-wheel drive Envoy received four stars.

A three-star rating indicated a 20 – 30 percent chance of a rollover in a single-vehicle crash. A four-star rating indicated a 10 – 20 percent chance of a rollover. We don’t know which model the students were in this past weekend, but both had significant risks of rollovers, according to the NHTSA data.

In similar cases, Pittsburgh law firms experienced in representing grieving families or people seriously injured in rollovers determine who is responsible for the crash — and then hold the responsible parties fully accountable.