Ventana Loses Control

Mountain roads can be beautiful and dangerous. Especially when driving a large motorhome.

U.S. 12 is one such road. When you cross the Idaho-Montana border, the highway follows a river. Mountains, curved roads, rivers. What could go wrong?

This is what the road looks like.

And this is what can happen if you lose control of your motorhome on this highway.

Not much in the way of details around this incident. A 61-year old male and his 56-year old wife were headed east on U.S. 12 with their Newmar Ventana pulling a 2008 Ford Focus on a trailer. The driver lost control of the motorcoach and it veered off the road and plunged about 200 feet down an embankment and into the river.

Oh, and then it caught fire.

The couple survived the crash and they were taken to hospital.

A few observations about the accident.

Depending on the year of this coach, any exit door would have been submerged in the river. The only way out would have been through the bedroom window. That would be very difficult to do with the coach at this angle.

Both occupants were wearing seatbelts. It must have been challenging to get out of their seatbelts. The way our seatbelts work, they can be a bit finicky to unbuckle even in the normal, upright position.

We have two recliners in our coach. They are not bolted to the floor. If this accident had happened to us, those recliners would have blocked our access to the emergency window exit at the rear of the coach.

In other words, it is relatively easy to become trapped in your coach in this type of accident.

How would an accident like this happen? Travelling too fast? Tire blowout? Fatigue?

We’ll probably never find out. A reminder to always travel safe. We take it very slow in our coach. Especially on twisty mountain roads.

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