PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The National Highway Safety Administration says it has tentatively linked an eighth death to the Takata airbag recall, but the agency has not released the name of the victim.
Many signs point toward an investigation of the July crash of a 2001 Honda Accord in Findley Township, Mercer County. A 13-year-old boy somehow got the keys to the car, got behind the wheel and crashed off Route 58.READ MORE: Ambridge Couple Spread Christmas Cheer With Light Display Including 20,000 Lights
The car lost control, went off a berm down a four-foot embankment and continued into a wooded area for 315 feet, hitting a fallen tree.
The boy, who was not publicly identified at the time, was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio, where he later died.
During a conference call with reporters, National Highway Safety Administration spokesperson Gordon Trowbridge would only confirm this about the Pennsylvania connection:READ MORE: PennDOT Asking For Public Input Ahead Of Bridge Work In Westmoreland County
“This fatality took place in a crash in July near Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania,” Trowbridge said. “It involved a 2001 Honda Accord that was under recall. In that crash, a minor was driving a relative’s vehicle. The vehicle was involved in a crash. The driver airbag deployed and we believe it ruptured. The driver was hospitalized with severe injuries and died several days later.”
Federal investigators, just within the last week, were contacted by the family’s attorney and went to the wrecking company to claim the car in the July accident for a closer investigation.
“NHTSA is currently working with the family’s attorney, with Honda and with Takata to inspect the vehicle in order to confirm that tentative conclusion,” says Trowbridge. “This young person’s death is tragic and underscores why we’re continuing to work so hard to get these defective inflaters off the road.”
The NHTSA says despite the unprecedented publicity surrounding these recalls there are still vehicles under recall with parts available for repairs that have not been fixed.MORE NEWS: Man Being Charged After Stabbing His Boss During A Meeting