While the cause seems more certain, the death of a second teenager after a vehicle became submerged in a roadside ditch near Leamington is still not being discussed. The deadly incident occurred on night of June 16, 2019.

Another Googlemaps image shown in a Windsor Star newspaper article is the only objective evidence available with respect to how the double-fatal collision occurred.

The Windsor Star newspaper confirmed that this was a single vehicle incident, suggesting that there was likely no other significant, injury-causing incident before the vehicle carrying four teenagers entered into the water-filled ditch at the T-intersection of Mersea Rds 1 and 19. Now the newspaper is suggesting that the third occupant of the vehicle may also be fighting to survive. All three teenagers became trapped in the upside-down vehicle while the fourth person was able to escape and is reportedly in good condition.

This is the extent to which the public has to fight “tooth & nail” for basic information about matters that may involve their future death or that of these close family and associates. If these teenagers drowned and if they drowned because they could not escape their overturned vehicle and if they drowned because a roadside barrier was not installed are all matters of public relevance.

This is not the first occasion where Gorski Consulting has raised the issue of vehicular drowning and the lack of publicity being paid to this danger. In an article posted on March 22, 2013 to this Gorski Consulting website we discussed a similar scenario where three young men likely drowned after their vehicle overturned into a water-filled, roadside ditch near Alliston, Ontario. The opening pararaph and photo of that incident are shown below.

“On January 12, 2013, three families in the Alliston, Ontario area received the tragic news that three teenagers died when their vehicle travelled off the Adjala Townline Road and came to rest upside down in a water-filled ditch. The right-rear wheel of the vehicle was found detached therefore questions would exist as such a result does not occur from a simple, out-of-control rotation. An impact to the concrete wall of a bridge was possible and therefore it raised the question why a guardrail was not installed adjacent to the bridge.  As the vehicle was found after sunrise it was not known when the vehicle entered the ditch and if the teenagers drowned because they could not exit the vehicle.  The steep sides of the narrow ditch might have made it difficult for the occupants to open the doors of the vehicle. The cause of death has never been revealed to the public.

Figure 1: Vehicle lying upside down in ditch as a result of collision of January 12, 2013 (Photo by QMI Agency).”

Similarly, in an article posted on September 30, 2013 (“Roadside Barrieres and Death By Drowning – An Important and Hidden Issue”) we reported on a number of incidents where poor barrier design/installation, or a complete lack of a barrier, resulted in unnecessary deaths. We have also made regular comments on the News webpage of the Gorski Consulting website about the latest drownings.

What if police and the official news media actually paid attention to these warnings and connected the dots? Would there be a heightened awareness and therefore an impetous for change? Might have we looked at a number of road segments where drownings were more probable and might we have made changes? Would we have prevented the needless multiple deaths that occurred near Leamington? Difficult to say since that has not happened.