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On September 3, 2010, Lakisha Ward-Green, of Penn Hills, PA, picked up Robert Chambers, age 16, from school, aboard her 2007 Chevy Cobalt. Lakisha was in a hurry that day, also needing to pick up her mother. She drove at some 40 miles over the speed limit.
Lakisha lost control of her vehicle as another car pulled out in front of her. She swerved to avoid another car, applied the brakes, and slid along the right side of the road down an embankment, ultimately crashing into a utility pole. The airbags never deployed. Robert was killed in the accident. Lakisha pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and reckless driving. She spent 121 days in jail.
An investigation into the vehicle's black box revealed that shortly before the accident the Chevy Cobalt's ignition switch had slipped from the run position to accessory. This finding proved that the true cause of the accident and of Robert's death was GMC's lethally defective ignition switch.