Date: Sept. 4, 2003

Victim: Maria Cafua

Location: Wilmington, Mass.

Model: 2002 Toyota Camry

Details: Maria Cafua, 44, was in the middle of her early morning commute when the woman's 2002 Camry accelerated across three lanes before being broadsided by another car in the fast lane, according to relatives and a complaint filed with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

The accident on Interstate 93 on a rainy day in Wilmington, Mass., put Cafua in a coma. The Portuguese immigrant died eight months later.

Cafua is survived by her husband and three children, who were 23, 18 and 10 at the time of the accident.

The 2002 Camry is not included in Toyota's recent recalls.. Still, David Cafua, now 29, said he believed the accident that killed his mother was caused by a defect in the car.

He said his mother had been taking the same route to her factory job for 12 years. The commute to nearby Watertown was too familiar, he said, and Cafua too cautious of a driver to be involved in such a freak accident.

For now, he said, the family has no intention of taking legal action against the automaker.

"We don't have the money or resources to try to fight Toyota," David Cafua said.

Sirnik had been traveling about 40 mph before the unintended acceleration, according to the complaint. Sirnik's brother, a passenger in the vehicle, was badly injured, the complaint said.

-- Stuart Pfeifer, Carol J. Williams and Robert Faturechi Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times
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