Rear Axle Failure: Before or After Incident?

2001 Ford Winstar Minivan

R. Scott King, BSME, Automotive/Mechanical Engineer ::::
Case Synopsis: The operator of a 2001 Ford Windstar minivan was injured when his vehicle suddenly veered off of the highway and struck a guiderail. The investigating police officer performed a cursory vehicle examination and determined that the rear axle beam was broken; however, he could not determine whether the axle failed before, or as a result of, the incident.
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