Runaway Throttle Condition Blamed For Crash, Lawsuit Filed

Determining what caused an accident is important. Any number of factors can contribute to a motor vehicle accident. Accidents are a part of life. When someone is killed in a crash that can be attributed to a malfunction, finding the root cause is important to prevent others from being hurt or killed.

Goerie.com reported that a lawsuit was recently filed against Hyundai over a crash that killed three people in 2017 in Erie, Pennsylvania. The lawsuit alleges that a runaway throttle condition in a 2009 Hyundai Santa Fe that the automaker should have known about was the cause of the three men’s deaths.

Hyundai believes that the accident was due to a “pedal misapplication” and is alleging that the age of the driver may have contributed to the accident in which Oscar Johnson, 65, found the throttle of his SUV “wide open.” Johnson and two other friends were traveling westbound on West 12th street on July 7th, 2017 at approximately 2:00 p.m.

Johnson had purchased the previously owned vehicle from Dave Hallman Hyundai in Erie just five days before the fatal crash. Johnson and two other friends, Charles L. Barnes, 65, who was riding in the front passenger seat, and Willie Byrd, 72, who was in the back seat at the time of the crash, were all residents of Methodist Towers. While the three friends were out driving, the car inexplicably accelerated reaching speeds of up to 90 miles per hour and became impossible to disengage.

The Hyundai carrying the three men crashed into a tractor-trailer rig at the intersection of West 12th and Cherry Street before continuing and hitting a Toyota before coming to a stop several hundred feet away. All three men were declared dead at the scene. The driver of the 18 wheeler was uninjured in the crash.

A forensic investigation conducted by the Erie Police Department was unable to pinpoint the cause of the crash. Hyundai claims that there have been no documented cases of ‘spontaneous acceleration’ in the Santa Fe SUV or any of its other vehicles.

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