Vehicular drownings remain an unpublicized problem as demonstrated in the latest death near Leamington, Ontario on June 16, 2019. The Windsor Star Newspaper provided some images they obtained from Googlemaps showing the intersection where a crash occurred resulting in one of the vehicles rolled over in a water-filled ditch. Three of the four teenagers became trapped in the vehicle while a fourth managed to escape. One of those trapped youngsters died. Two of the Windsor Star images are shown below.

Googlemaps view of water-filled ditch at the intersection of Mersea Rds 1 and 19, near Leamington, Ontario.

Googlemaps view of water-filled ditch at accident site.

The Windsor Star article did not clarify how the single occupant sustained fatal injuries and whether it was due to drowning. This is a problem that needs correction.

There are numerous water-filled ditches along roadways throughout Essex, Chatham-Kent and Lambton counties. A vast number of these roadways contain no barriers between them and the ditches. While it is recognized that barriers are erected to keep vehicles away from roadside dangers such as steep slopes, rock cuts, trees and poles, that recognition seems to fail when it comes to understanding the danger that exists when a vehicle enters an area of water. While modern technology has managed to protect occupants with airbags, seat-belts and various other safety features, none of these can protect an occupant once a vehicle rolls over and becomes submerged in water. In fact, deployed airbags and jammed seat-belts may even make it more difficult for occupants to quickly exit a submerged vehicle. Yet the importance of these roadside dangers is rarely discussed in public.

Drownings and vehicle fires remain the dark secrets that will continue to take innocent lives until more publicity is provided by police and official news media of these important issues.