A Florida woman involved in a car crash last week died because of a faulty air bag, a new report says.
The state’s Highway Patrol found that the air bag ruptured during the crash and actually fired shrapnel, causing a 6-by-3-inch wound in Nicole Barker’s temple, a fractured skull, and bruising and bleeding on her brain, according to the lead investigator’s report.
The 34-year-old is the 21st person killed worldwide since 2009 by exploding Takata air bags, reported The Associated Press.
The air bags were first recalled in the early 2000s.
Honda officials said they’ve tried to reach out to owners of cars with faulty air bags several times, reported ABC Action News, but Barker’s family said they had no idea.
“Knowing Nichol, she definitely would have ..I know she would have …taken care of it,” Colleen Pahlck, the aunt of Barker’s husband, Larry Pahlck, told the broadcaster.
Florida Highway Patrol spokesmen Sgt. Steve Gaskins said it was “a survivable crash,” reported Fox13. “A lot of people put a lot of effort into determining exactly what went wrong that day. And again Takata air bag [is] to blame at this point.”
Gaskins said anyone who hears about this story should check the current recalls and make sure the vehicles they own aren’t one of them.
Barker, her 10-year-old son, 5-year-daughter, and her mother were driving on a two-lane road in Holiday at about 30 miles per hour on July 19 when a Pontiac Firebird Trans Am being driven by a 19-year-old man made a left turn in front of her.
Barker’s 2002 Honda Accord crashed into the Trans Am. Barker’s son, mother, and the other driver received only minor injuries while Barker’s daughter was unhurt.
The medical examiner and the state highway patrol concluded Barker would have survived the crash if not for the air bag.
Vehicles from the 2001 to 2003 model years pose the greatest danger to people, according to Honda.
Honda said owners of the recalled cars will get them repaired immediately if they take them to a dealership. The repairs are free.
Sleepy Truck Driver Causes Multi-Vehicle Crash