I fit tow bars etc for a living, looking at this pic you can clearly see that the hitch is still in the receiver collar the hitch pin is still in place and the R clip is still in place. It looks like the collar sheared off of the tow bar possibly a weld failure? Or the van exceeded the rating, if the welds failed then the towbar manufacturer is liable if the bar broke because of excessive load then the owners and or whomever connected the van to the bar is at fault for not checking the load rating specific to the load attached. Either way would have been a really scary ride.According to today's paper the couple were uninsured.
View attachment 16931
Towbar still attached to van.