Alan Bawinkel, Bonnie Bawinkel Killed In Freeport Home Explosion Accident
Wrongful Death - October 2, 2022
Alan Bawinkel, Bonnie Bawinkel Died Weeks After Being Critically Injured In Freeport House Explosion Accident
FREEPORT, ILLINOIS (October 2, 2022) – A married couple identified as Alan Bawinkel and Bonnie Bawinkel tragically died in Freeport when their house exploded.
Stephenson County officials are saying that the accident occured on September 13. Alan Bawinkel and Bonnie Bawinkel were inside of their home when their house suddenly exploded.
Firefighters and paramedics were called to the scene of the explosion in order to help both of the victims. Eventually, the fire was put out.
The married couple were both airlifted to hospitals in critical condition. Sadly, Bonnie Bawinkel died due to her injuries on Tuesday, September 27.
Alan Bawinkel was pronounced dead three days later on Friday, September 30. It remains unknown if natural gas was involved in the explosion.
This accident comes two weeks after one person was killed in a Chicago natural gas explosion at an apartment complex. An investigation into the cause of the Freeport home explosion accident remains ongoing at this time.
Liability In Freeport Home Explosion Accidents
A residential explosion can happen for dozens of different reasons. However, natural gas leaks remain one of the leading causes of home explosions. According to RP GAs Piping, “Across the U.S. there are about 286 serious natural gas explosions per year—the type that cause over $50,000 worth of damage, severe injury, or loss of life. Between 1998 and 2017, 15 people per year on average died in incidents related to gas distribution in the U.S.” There are many factors that could potentially contribute to a natural gas explosion.
- Over-Pressurization: Natural gas pipelines are put under an enormous amount of pressure. But these pipes can only hold so much pressure before a leak is bound to happen. When a pipe is over pressurized, this can lead to a leak and subsequent explosion.
- Poor Maintenance: Gas pipelines need to be periodically inspected and well maintained to function safely. To this end, gas companies must do periodic leak detection tests.
- Pipeline Damage: Many natural gas leaks occur when construction companies inadvertently damage gas lines. Construction companies are supposed to understand where gas lines are and avoid them, but this does not always happen.
Depending on the facts of any case, there could be multiple liable parties for a home explosion accident. A utility company could be liable if they failed to properly maintain their lines. All utility companies must periodically maintain and inspect their lines. Gas lines can naturally corrode over time if they are not properly cared for. Many home explosion accidents come down to utility companies trying to save money by cutting corners where they can.
An appliance manufacturer could also be liable for a natural gas explosion. Companies have a legal obligation to create products that are reasonably safe. They can be liable for the marketing, design and manufacturing defects with their products. If, for example, an appliance that uses natural gas malfunctions and leaks, this could form the basis of a negligence claim. There are a number of steps that should be taken after any natural gas explosion.
- Eye witnesses should be interviewed.
- Maintenance records of any nearby gas pipelines should be examined.
- Medical records should be preserved.
- Appliances within a home that exploded should be examined.
Residential explosion accidents can be extremely complex events. Sadly, though, gas companies will often fight extremely hard to deny liability after any residential explosion. However, evidence is what will ultimately determine liability for any accident. It is crucial that all evidence is preserved after any explosion.
Liability In Freeport Home Explosion Accidents
We at Horwitz Horwitz & Associates extend our deepest condolences to the family of Alan Bawinkel and Bonnie Bawinkel. Any person that may have more information about what happened should reach out to investigators. There have been some many residential explosions across Illinois in the past several months. It is our sincere hope that local and state officials will consider measures to help prevent additional tragedies like this.
Do you need more information about a Freeport home explosion accident? Our team of consumer safety advocates are here to answer any questions that you may have. We care deeply that accident victims are aware of their rights and that utility companies are doing everything their power to keep customers safe. Whether you just have legal questions or need a free, independent investigation into an accident we are here for you. You can reach out to us anytime at (312) 564-4256.