Mechanical Failure Blamed for Fatal Jeep Accident in Moab

Two men are dead after the brake on their Jeep failed and it rolled over a cliff in Moab, Utah. According to KSL News, the two men, Brian Peters, 56 of Peoria, Arizona and Jason Chapman, 47 of Phoenix, Arizona, were in Moab, having just completed the “Devil’s Crack” on the Moab Rim Jeep Trail. Peters was driving the Jeep and Chapman was the passenger.

According to reports, they had exited the Jeep to assist others get through this area and had just gotten back into the Jeep when a loud pop was heard. Witnesses say the Jeep started rolling backward at that point and tumbled several times off the edge of the cliff. The Moab City Police, who investigated the tragic accident, say a mechanical failure was to blame based on witness accounts who described hearing the loud pop and then seeing the Jeep roll backward.

If a mechanical failure is to blame for this accident, then a claim could potentially be brought against the manufacturer of the vehicle or of aftermarket parts that possibly led to this failure. Likewise, if mechanical work was performed in a substandard way, there could potentially be an actionable claim against the shop that made the repair and/or installed parts that led to the failure. Hopefully the inspection that took place after the crash will shed some light on the exact nature of the mechanical failure.

Legally speaking, the family members that could potentially make a “wrongful death” claim are called “wrongful death heirs” and include the parents, spouse(s) and the children of the deceased. There is a two-year statute of limitations in making a wrongful death claim that coincides with a two-year statute of limitations on product liability claims. Additionally, the family of the passenger of the Jeep potentially have a claim against the driver’s insurance and estate for their wrongful death claim. Such claims certainly don’t take away the loss and hole that have been left when someone loses their life but can help family members soldier on following such a tragic event.

Ron Kramer is a lawyer practicing personal injury law in West Jordan and throughout Utah.