Toyota accelerator may have killed 4 in Southlake wreck

December 28, 2009

About 11:15 a.m. Saturday, a Toyota Avalon ran a stop sign, crashed through a fence and bounced off a tree before landing upside down in a pond outside a Southlake home. Two people were pronounced dead while being transported to hospitals, and two passengers died early Sunday morning.

Monty Hardy, 56, of Southlake and Hadassah Vance, 35, of Euless both died shortly after the crash. On Sunday, Wendy Akion, 38, of Irving was pronounced dead at the Baylor Regional Medical Center in Grapevine. Sharon Ransom, 56, of Grapevine was later pronounced dead.

Investigators said that they did not see any skid marks around the sight of the crash leading them to suspect vehicle malfunction may have been to blame. Earlier this year, Toyota recalled over 4 million vehicles, including Avalons, to correct a problem with the shape of the accelerator that could cause it to become stuck in the floor mat causing the driver to lose control.

A Los Angeles Times investigation, said problems with Toyota's electronic throttle may be responsible for many vehicles suddenly accelerating uncontrollably.

For the safety of yourself and your passengers, please find out if your car was one those recalled. If it was, please contact Toyota to fix the problems, and immediately remove the driver's floor mat. Please contact me if you have any questions or need legal representation if you have been injured doe to an accelerator problem with your Toyota.

If you have been involved in a wreck as a result of a vehicle malfunction either by the car you were driving in, or the car that hit you, please contact my office at 817-885-8000 to discuss your case. The law limits the amount of time you have to file a claim, so please call as soon as you are able.