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No Evidence of Truck Defect Found in Fatal Yale Tailgating Accident

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PHOENIX, June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The horrible tragedy involving Nancy Barry and Sarah Short has finally reached some closure.  The parties resolved the matter as it pertains to U-Haul and the claims against the U-Haul entities have been withdrawn.

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"This was a terrible tragedy that affected many people and entire communities.  U-Haul mourns the loss of Nancy Barry and hopes for Sarah Short's continuing recovery from her injuries," stated Stuart Shoen, executive vice president, U-Haul International, Inc.  "U-Haul had an ironclad case and we were prepared to defend ourselves at trial, but we felt it was more important to do our part to bring closure to this matter.  Doing so benefits everyone, except, of course, those who had selfish motives to blame our truck for this accident."

Brendan Ross and his criminal lawyer, William Dow, made rash and unsupported comments about the U-Haul truck involved in the accident before the truck was even inspected.  These reckless comments invited knee-jerk and emotional reactions from the public and other affected parties.  Using this tragic accident as a launch pad, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal then called the entire industry's safety inspection standards into question and urged the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation to launch an independent analysis of the standards while Blumenthal considered further legislation.   

Level heads ultimately prevailed however as lawyers for both Ms. Barry's family and Ms. Short have stated that after two inspections - one by a consultant retained by Mr. Ross' criminal attorney and another by the City of New Haven police department- that there was "no evidence of defect with the truck" or "evidence that U-Haul's truck maintenance procedures were improper or inadequate."

Shoen stated, "While other parties were prematurely alleging misconduct on our part, U-Haul was advocating patience and restraint.  Now that the facts are no longer in dispute, I want to publicly recognize the hardworking team of people at U-Haul who maintain our equipment and ensure its safety for our customers."

"U-Haul's safety record is first class, and like the thousands of other trucks rented each day across the United States and Canada, this truck is part of that record," said Shoen.  "Our commitment to safety may not be clear to the public thanks to ill-considered comments made by folks that the public should otherwise be able to trust.  The reality is that safety is the primary pillar of our business," Shoen added.

U-Haul has repeatedly taken the public position that it takes the safety and maintenance of its equipment very seriously.  Its maintenance systems and protocols are state-of-the-art and are designed with safety and compliance with the law as the main priorities.

Shoen also added, "I hope this is a warning to anyone who feels the urge to attack our commitment to safety: you had best bring some proof with you or prepare to be called out for it.  Our team takes safety seriously, and we will not stand for attacks on our commitment to it."

About U-Haul

Sebastien Reyes, Director, I.R. (602) 263-6601
Ashleigh Wagner, Senior Media and Public Relations Specialist (602) 263-6194
U-Haul International, Inc.

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