Stories

The IRE Resource Center is a major research library containing more than 27,000 investigative stories.

Most of our stories are not available for download but can be easily ordered by contacting the Resource Center directly at 573-882-3364 or rescntr@ire.org where a researcher can help you pinpoint what you need.

Search results for "car crash" ...

  • Seat Back Failures

    Even if you bought a car with a five-star safety rating, if you're hit from behind, your seat may not protect you or the children sitting behind you. Experts say in certain crashes, some car seats can break and collapse, leading to paralysis or death. Kris Van Cleave reveals the findings of the investigation.
  • Safe from War | Dead at Home

    This three-day series was the culmination of a yearlong project that took an unprecedented look at the untimely deaths of Marines in Southern California’s High Desert. We set out to produce something revelatory, and ultimately discovered trends that have never been reported before, and were likely unknown even to the military itself. Our series discovered that the rural Marine base in Twentynine Palms, CA suffered more non-combat deaths on American soil than war casualties between 2007 and 2012. Our reporting revealed that the base had an extremely high rate of off-duty car crashes, which was worsened by a culture of heavy drinking and a reckless, “invincible” mindset held by many Marines. The series also showed that Marines who took their own life at the Twentynine Palms base were twice as likely to be under the influence of alcohol as the average Marine suicide.
  • Fatal Freeway Design: HOV Lanes in North texas

    "Despite official claims of success, WFAA-TV showed the design of the newly opened HOV carpool lanes in the Dallas area lead to a 40% spike in serious car crashes and directly contributed to three deaths."
  • Right By Miles

    This story looked back to a traffic accident six years ago (2002) in which a car driven by a teenager ran off a back country road in the middle of the night and his passenger, a 16-year-old named Miles White, was killed. The polk County Shriff's Office investigated, ruled it a single car accident and charged the 19-year-old driver with DUI-manslaughter. The Times was able to show that the sheriff's office had engaged in a cover-up. It was not a single-car crash; it was caused by a Polk County sheriff's deputy, who, as it turned out, was a sexual predator who like teenage boys. He chased the boys that night, hit their rear bumper and ran them off the road. The Times showed that before the accident, the sheriff's office had been warned that they had a deputy who was using his undercover vehicle to stalk teenage boys. They had not heeded that warning and left him on the road. If he then caused an accident that killed a boy, the department would have been on the hook for multimillion dollar damages in a wrongful death lawsuit. The office chose instead to cover up the truth.
  • M.I.S.T

    The investigation "uncovered a plan that began in the mid-1990s with the help of one of the nation's leading consultant firms, McKenzie, to force motorists to sue to recover costs for so-called soft tissue injuries. Led by the nation's two leading insurers, State Farm and Allstate, insurance companies developed a strategy of delay, deny and defend when it came to minor car crashes."
  • Danger Behind the Wheel: Suspended Driver on Maine Roads

    "This series studied the dangers posed by drivers with suspended licenses; evaluated efforts in Maine to crack down on the problem; and looked at what other measures might help protect motorists and pedestrians. One key statistical conclusion was that when drivers with suspended licenses are involved in crashes, it's six times more likely that someone will die than when properly licensed drivers crash their vehicles."
  • Lights and Sirens

    The emergency vehicles in Baltimore are involved in a large number of violent crashes each year. The most common link among all of the accidents is that rookie officers are not obeying the rules. Over half of the police cars drove more than 10 mph over the speed limit on emergency calls, which is against the rules. In other situations, 8 out of 10 vehicles would speed without deploying lights and sirens.
  • Tread Secrets: Evidence Disappearing

    Cooper Tire & Rubber Company settled many plaintiffs, hired an ex-con to retrieve evidence of tread failure at fatal crash sites, and were able to make judges seal the records in wrongful death and product liability cases.
  • Fatal Assumption

    Expert auto repair surgeons lure customers into thinking they have a safe car by creating dummy airbags covers, but the bags are not inside. The tape exposes the case of a 50-year-old woman who was in a car accident and her air bag never deployed. The airbag had been cut out by the dealer who sold her the car. Dealers save thousands of dollars and that could cost lives. Many other cases like these are investigated by the news team. The tape shows how to tell a fake from a real air bag. It also holds a few of the liars accountable for making buyers think the cars have air bags.
  • Dying to Drive: Inexperience, speed can be deadly mix for teenage drivers, statistics show

    According to the author, "The series analyzed fatal motor vehicle crashes in the United States in which at least one driver was between the ages of 14 and 19. Among the major findings: Speeding contributed to more than half of the wrecks. More than two-thirds of people killed in cars driven by teens were not wearing seat belts. More than half of the wrecks were single-vehicle crashes. More than three-quarters of the crashes involved sober drivers."