MIAMI (August 27, 2001) — The law firm of Colson Hicks Eidson today announced that it has filed two civil lawsuits, one on behalf of the children of Charrdonae N. Rowland—killed when her 1994 Isuzu Rodeo burst into flames after a fiery collision on South Dixie Highway—and the other on behalf of the driver Terrance Smith, who was also burned as a result of the explosion, against Isuzu Motors America, Inc. for the failure of the Rodeo’s fuel system, gas tank and related components that caused gasoline to escape from the vehicle making it explode.
“Charrdonae survived the deadly wreck, but was killed by the ball of fire that engulfed her Rodeo,” said a partner at Colson Hicks Eidson. “If it were not for the Rodeo’s defective fuel system and gas tank she would be with her young children today. Charrdonae’s horrific death was fully preventable. “
The collision occurred on January 6th, 2001 when a sedan traveling at more than 70 mph rear-ended Rowland’s Rodeo, which had stopped for a red light on Southwest 27th Avenue at South Dixie Highway. According to the lawsuit, the collision caused the Rodeo’s fuel system, gas tank and related parts to fail due to a defect causing gasoline to escape from the Rodeo, causing the vehicle to burst into flames.
Rowland, a passenger in her car, survived the crash only to be killed after the Rodeo’s gas tank exploded causing her to burn to death. Smith, who was driving Rowland’s car, experienced second and third degree burns over his face and arm, but was saved when a passerby pulled him out of the burning car saving his life. The same passerby saw that Rowland was alive and tried to save her, but could not reach her before the flames engulfed her body, burning her alive. The driver of the sedan that caused the accident died on impact.
“I am shocked by the automotive industry’s lack of concern for the safety of its customers; this incident makes me recall the Ford Pinto and its faulty gas tank that caused so many deaths,” added Colson Hicks Eidson. ”After years of handling cases involving the catastrophic outcomes associated with defective products manufactured by the automotive industry, I cannot get accustomed to the devastation in brings to the families that are affected. It is just senseless.”