In this case a single vehicle collision caused by what the Iowa State Patrol says was a loss of control killed the two adults but sparing the 1 year old child. Later reports indicate the child did die. The car is said to have rolled into a ditch that was partially filled with water. The report makes no mention as the cause of death but one can assume the standing water in the ditch had some effect. The accident happened near Parkersburg, Iowa.
KWWL provided the additional information. They also have photographs on the KWWL website.
I represented the estate of a woman who drowned from this same type of single-vehicle collision. The driver had been drinking, crashed the car, it overturned in the ditch filled with water, and then he simply left the accident scene and the passenger to die. The police found him later that day at home.
When there is water in the ditch you need to take it slower. The water in the ditch is an indication that less speed is better in the event of an accident to avoid drowning. The water in the ditch probably tells you something about how soggy the road gravel is. Rural roads in Iowa are covered by crushed limestone. That helps travel but doesn’t make it completely safe for higher speeds that would ordinarily be safe. It would be interesting to know what speeds the data recorders show just prior to the driver’s losing control.
These are a few accidental drowning caused by a car accident and a loss of control that takes the car into some water. On the first video you'll get the idea from the first few seconds. It's long but is one of the only video's that shows a good picture of a deep ditch with enough water to drown.
A similar incident in Texas took the lives of five children when the car in which they were passengers drove into a rain-swollen ditch in Houston. None of the children were wearing seat belts and the driver was charged with OWI, even though the driver’s two breath tests were 0.079 and 0.082 %. The legal limit was 0.08 percent. The male driver was charged with intoxicated manslaughter.
A single-vehicle crash in North Carolina caused a married couple to drown after their car veered off of I-95 and into a water-filled ditch. They both drowned.
A 9-1-1 call captured the last pleas of a drowning woman on May 19, 2009. The Associated Press covered the story. Follow the link to read the AP story.
“The 49-year-old Oklahoma woman told operators she had her nose against the car’s roof. “Please hurry, because I'm running out of air and if I climb out of this car I'm going to go down,” she said.
“I need to get out now. I'm drowning,” she said soon after that during the May 2 call. “
In another incident the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports on a man drowning after his car strikes a deer. The man was 19-years-of-age. This man’s death was determined to be from being ejected out of the car, then landing in the ditch filled with water and drowning.