Transportation safety officials have known since 2001 that 15-passenger vans like the E350 are prone to roll in a crash when loaded with people. Federal officials have issued repeated safety warnings to carmakers and the public. Some insurance companies refuse to cover them. A major religious denomination advises member churches to avoid them. And at least 28 states prohibit public schools from using them to transport students.
Yet many churches around the country still use the old vans to haul kids to swimming pools, take parishioners to services or deliver members to conferences and revival meetings.
And people still die.
Salliotte is one of 600 people killed in single-vehicle rollovers involving 15-passenger vans since safety warnings were first issued 17 years ago.