Date: Aug. 11, 2009

Victim: Adam Palmer

Location: Mendon, Mass.

Model: 2007 Toyota Scion TC

Details: The last thing Joseph Mele remembers before the crash that killed his friend, 22-year-old Adam Palmer, was that he had the cruise control on his Scion set at 70 mph as he traveled northward along Interstate 495 near the Massachusetts-Rhode Island border, Mele's father said in an interview.

Massachusetts State Police investigators estimated the car crashed into a guard rail at 100 mph. Mele was able to extract himself from the vehicle after it rolled over but Palmer was not. The Scion burst into flames. Palmer was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash remains under investigation, according to police. Mele's father, Gary, said his son received a citation in the accident but was challenging it.

"This is in the courts," Gary Mele said, declining to discuss the accident in more detail.

Mele's mother, Cheryl, filed a complaint with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in February seeking a review of whether sudden unintended acceleration might have been the cause.

"The crashes on these cars are overlooked because drivers are mostly teenagers and young adults are buying them and officials and insurance companies blame accidents on driver inexperience," she said in her complaint.

Gary Mele said the family hadn't received any response from Toyota or NHTSA.

The Scion is not included in any of the recent Toyota recalls.

-- Stuart Pfeifer, Carol J. Williams and Robert Faturechi