A Holiday woman killed in a July 19 Pasco crash could be the 19th fatality worldwide caused by the explosion of a Takata air bag inflator.
- Nichol Lynn Barker, 34, killed in crash
- FHP investigation still ongoing
- Cause of Barker's death still not released
- RELATED STORY: Air bag inflator ruptures, driver killed in Florida crash
- National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Takata airbag recall
According to a Florida Highway Patrol release, Nichol Lynn Barker, 34, was driving east on Pinehurst Drive in her 2002 Honda Accord when she collided with a car turning left from Moog Road that failed to yield the right of way. She was transported to an area hospital after the crash and later died.
Though the Highway Patrol investigation is ongoing, the agency said on July 27 that their investigators, along with investigators from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, confirmed Barker's car was equipped with an original manufacturer airbag. Further, those investigators confirmed that the airbag's deployment was "consistent with previous Takata airbag events."
When Barker's car crashed into the passenger side of the other vehicle, both Takata airbags in her front seats deployed.
Barker later died. Her mother, 4-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son also in the car only suffered minor injuries.
Barker's stepfather said the family believes the Takata airbag is responsible for her death.
“It's a mechanical error, mechanical failure," said Barker's stepfather John Parrish. "Seems like anything manmade there is always a fault no matter what it is.
"Um, am I angry? I'm angry that my daughter is gone and that something like this could've been prevented sooner. Um, I only hope and pray that this doesn’t happen to another family."
The question is will the FHP determine the airbag, and not the accident, is the cause of Barker's death?
An official cause of death for Barker has not been released. The investigation is ongoing.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has more information about the Takata airbag recall on its website, where car owners can enter their vehicle's VIN number to verify if repairs are needed.