Three migrant farm workers killed in a rollover accident on Interstate 95.
The Florida rollover accident occurred at about 7:45 on Sunday, June 3, 2012. The victims were passengers in a 1997 Dodge van that was carrying fifteen Haitian migrant workers to a job in New Jersey. The van was in Volusia County near the Flagler County line, when a tire separated, and the driver, 57-year-old Vilbrun Bertrand of West Palm Beach, lost control of the van. The van overturned and three of the passengers were ejected. The three passengers, Benitoh Delice, 38, Sonja Maubrun, 34, and Berteau Nazaire, 45, all of West Palm Beach, died at the scene. Eleven others were hospitalized, two with critical injuries.
The accident is under investigation. Alcohol is not being considered a factor in the accident.
Fifteen-passenger vans are especially vulnerable to tire blowouts and rollover accidents. In 2010, the National Highway Transportation safety Administration (NHTSA) offered an advisory for businesses and groups using 15-passenger vans. Recommendations included:
- Owners should make sure that the van is properly maintained before it is used to carry passengers.
- Owners should make sure all drivers are fully trained and properly licensed.
- 15-passenger vans should never be overloaded, as this increases vehicle instability and rollover risk.
- Owners should make sure that tires are correctly sized for the vehicle.
- Tires must be well-maintained. Before every trip, tires must be checked for proper inflation, and signs of wear.
- There must be a seatbelt for every passenger.
Family members of accident victims have rights, even if they are not U.S. citizens. Contact a Palm Beach wrongful death attorney for more information.