SCRANTON — A mother and father from Lackawanna County took to our nation’s capital demanding answers from General Motors.
The couple from Scranton want to know why General Motors may have covered up mechanical failures in its vehicles, a defect they claim caused their daughter’s death.
Lawmakers had plenty of questions for the new CEO of General Motors about why the carmaker waited so long to order the recall of millions of vehicles that have defective ignition switches.
GM admits the switches can cause the engines to shut off, turning off all the car’s safety equipment including air bags.
Families gathered in Washington on Tuesday blaming GM for the deaths of their loved ones who died in GM vehicles. Among those families were the mother and father from Scranton who say their daughter was killed back in 2010 because of the mechanical failure.
It was a little more than four years ago when Kelly Ruddy, 21, of Scranton lost control of her car along Interstate 81near Wilkes-Barre. She was killed in that crash but family and friends never knew why.
Now that her car has been listed in that Gm recall, they’re demanding answers.
Mary Ruddy of Scranton held tightly to a picture of her daughter in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.
It was on January 10, 2010 when Kelly Ruddy lost control of her 2005 Chevy Cobalt on Interstate 81 near the Bear Creek exit. Investigators say the car flipped, causing her to be thrown out of the vehicle. She was then struck by passing cars.
“When I finally absorbed that news, I just couldn’t believe it. It was just so heartbreaking,” Ruddy said.
More than four years later, the Ruddy family is still looking for answers. Her father told ABC news he worries for other families.
“(There are) still people out there driving this vehicle who should not be driving it,” said Leo Ruddy.
Ruddy’s Chevy Cobalt is among 2.6 million GM vehicles that are being recalled for defective ignition switches. The 2010 crash that killed Ruddy was mentioned at the congressional hearing.
People in our area who knew Kelly Ruddy say their thoughts are with the Ruddy family.
“Mary had always said she just couldn’t believe Kelly losing control of the car like that for no reason,” said Marywood University librarian Helene Teeple.
Librarians at Marywood University in Scranton feel close to the Ruddy family.
Kelly was a work study student there and her mother worked at the circulation desk.
“She will fight the good fight. Mary I hope, becomes the face of this tragedy for all the mothers going through this. She will not give up,” said Marywood University librarian Annette Fisher.
Friends say Mary has no reason to give up. About 6 1/2 months before Kelly’s crash, her other daughter Tara died unexpectedly. The two librarians say they can only hope that the Ruddy’s voices are heard, and the family can have some closure.
“I’m just hoping that there is some kind of…Mary gets, Kelly, that whole family, gets the resolution they deserve. That this was a tragedy that General Motors or whoever should be accountable for it.”
There has been some good news recently for the Ruddy family. After a request from Senator Pat Toomey, General Motors agreed to return the so-called “black box” from Kelly’s car. This box could be one way for both the family, and GM to find out what actually caused the crash the ended up taking Kelly’s life.