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August 24, 2017

An Apopka woman experienced an alarming incident on Saturday while driving down Sandpiper Street in Apopka. Gina Wendorf was on her way home in her Nissan Acura when she drove through several potholes along the road. Wendorf’s statement indicates that she did not see the two potholes before driving through them, and that the she only became aware of the large pits within the asphalt when her car began lurching violently and unexpectedly.

Immediately after impacting the two potholes, the airbags for both the driver and passenger side of Wendorf’s Acura deployed. Frazzled and bewildered, Wendorf was able to make it back to her home where she and her husband examined both herself and the car to assess the level of damage. Deciding that nothing was immediately wrong with Wendorf, the two of them drove back to the area where the potholes were located. Oddly enough, by the time they arrived at the scene the potholes had been repaired.

According to Robert Sargent, a spokesperson for the City of Apopka, the potholes along Sandpiper street were already a known entity for the Orange County road repair crews. Sargent indicated that repair crews were in the area on Friday in order to repair damage done to roads after a series of violent storms swept through the area, and that these crews were supposed to repair the road as well. When that did not happen, Sargent said that members of the Apopka city street crews went out to repair the road themselves. It just so happened that their timing was shortly after the collision between Wendorf and the road.

Wendorf’s apparent lack of injury is a rare blessing. Airbags are designed to protect riders within cars from more serious injury caused by bodily impact with metal, glass, or hard plastic. In order to ensure that they fully insulate the individual in question, airbags need to be sturdy and resilient. They are not soft, and being struck by an airbag can often cause injuries to riders of cars (although, these injuries are far less severe than would be suffered were the airbags not in the vehicle).

Recently, a number of companies have needed to recall their cars due to malfunctioning airbags. Although Wendorf’s Acura is not one of the cars included in a recall, mechanics consulted on the case seem to feel that it is likely that the airbags went off not so much because of the deep potholes but because of faulty wiring or other error within the car.

James O. Cunningham

Since 1977, personal injury lawyer James Cunningham has provided effective legal advocacy to people who are injured through the negligent actions of another person or entity throughout the Central Florida area. He fights to obtain recoveries for his clients’ physical and emotional pain and suffering and pursues his clients’ personal injury cases with a commitment to excellence and impeccable preparation.

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