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 "fatalities" ...

  • Death in the Workplace

    This two-part series investigates on the superficial way in which Cal-OSHA conducted inquiries in work-related deaths. Also provides an analysis of the labor fatalities from 1998 to 2000 that points out the increasing number of deaths among Hispanic immigrants (compared to a 3% drop in workplace deaths nationwide). Specific cases and discussions of the Cal-OSHA reports are provided.
  • Deadly Trucks

    The News-Journal investigates increasing truck fatalities in Florida. The investigation found that average truck weights are increasing, Florida's weight limits are some of the most lenient in the country and the Florida Trucking Association gave $163,200 to legislative candidates between 1996 and 2000, lobbying vigorously against strengthening weight and safety laws.
  • Thirty Mile Fire

    Seattle Times investigates the death of four firefighters who "were trapped by wildfire in a pinched valley in north-central Washington State" on July 10, 2001. The series reveals that "despite obvious evidence of danger, front-line bosses misjudged the explosive conditions present that day ... [and] pushed firefighters to battle a blaze even though the fire threatened no homes or businesses." Numerous safety rules were ignored, and officials knew that firefighter fatalities follow a pattern, the Times reports. The main finding is that "a fire-fighting culture in which extinguishing fires - not safety - remains the top priority."
  • A Reporter At Large: Wrong Turn

    The New Yorker examines the reasons for "America's slipping record on autosafety," in comparison with road accidents trends in Europe and Australia. The story reveals that a so-called "passive approach," launched in the 1970s, has focused on improving the auto design in order to have crashes without injuries. This has only shifted attention from the driver to the vehicle. The article points to new scientific studies showing the human seeing and memory are selective, which causes fatal drivers' errors.
  • Slow track of progress

    The Fresno Bee looks at dangerous crossings in California, which need improvements. The story depicts fatalities, which could have been avoided, were there gates and lights at the spots. The reporter reveals that railroad crossings in California have been neglected "due to chronic funding shortfalls and bureaucratic inertia." Some major findings are that Fresno city lacks funding to match grants for improving the hazardous crossings, and that the neighboring city of Selma has missed multiple opportunities to go after state and federal funding. Even though numbers of accidents, injuries and fatalities have dropped sharply since the 1970s, the decline is attributed mostly to industry consolidation and track abandonment, the Bee reports. The article includes a map of a four-county area with locations of accidents recorded on railroad crossings from 1996 to 2000.
  • RUN, Don't Walk

    The New Times reports on pedestrian safety -- the lack of it -- in Los Angeles. Los Angeles is second only to New York in pedestrian fatalities, and has far fewer pedestrians. Portland has six city employees that deal with pedestrian safety and planning, Los Angeles has none. Other problems include confusion over right-of-way at unmarked crosswalks, a shrinking number of traffic enforcement officers, clogged freeways that push extra traffic into arterial roads and road rage. Due to legal quirks, Los Angeles even had to raise the speed limit on one of the streets it wanted to slow down in order to be legally able to use radar detectors to catch speeders.
  • Drunk At The Wheel: A Battle Not Won

    The Indianapolis Star reports on a Richard Sallee, a judge who had twice as many aquittals in drunken driving cases than other judges; on defense attorneys for drunken drivers who also work as judges hearing druken driving cases; the drop in conviction and the continuation in casualties; the ability of convicted drunken drivers to avoid jail time; and the battle over reducing legal drinking limits.
  • Collision Course

    Fatalities and car accidents are up dramatically in the Denver metro area. This article details the circumstances surrounding the death of a young girl who, with her family, was killed at a crosswalk on Colfax Avenue. A car ran a red light -- and struck the family of four. A local radio station raised $30,000 for the family to help bury daughter Alexis and to be set aside for the family. The mother spent most of the money on a car and set aside just $2,000 apiece for her other children. The family remains angry about the incident and considered suing the perpetrator, Shelia Towns, but decided against it because she has no wealth. Towns claims she split because she'd had a few drinks before the incident and was worried about going to jail. As it is, she will spend 18 months in jail, followed by rehab and a 12-year suspended sentence.
  • Loose seat belt laws

    There is no state law in Ohio requiring back-seat passengers to wear seat belts, unless the driver is 18 and driving with a temporary permit. The Beacon analyzed federal (NHTSA) crash data and found that ..."More than a third of the 279 children ages 4 to 15 years old, who died in crashes from 1994 through 1999 were riding legally unbuckled in back seats."
  • The Crusader

    Bruce Kaster had been saying for fifteen years that a layer of nylon pasted over the steel belts in tires would decrease the chance of the tread peeling off on the highway, but no one listened. But more accidents occurred with Firestone tires and by the fall of 2000, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration "had officially blamed Firestone tires for 148 fatalities." Now the tire litigator's theories have finally become known. 'It's just kind of rewarding to find out that everything I was saying fifteen years ago-and it's just common sense-was right." Esquire Magazine profiles the fight Kaster is putting up against tire manufacturing companies and the kind of justice he wants to be upheld.