GONZALES COUNTY, Texas—Ruben Ozuna Jr. lost his life on March 28 after a tire failed on a semi along U.S. Route 87 just outside Smiley, Texas.
A preliminary investigation revealed that Ozuna was traveling in the semi on U.S. 87 near Farm-to-Market Road 1116 at about 5:30 p.m. when one of the vehicle's tires blew out. The tire failure caused the truck to run off the road, where it overturned and caught fire.
Authorities have not released any additional information about their ongoing investigation into the crash.
Thoughts on the fatal semi-tire accident that killed Ruben Ozuna Jr.
I am saddened to learn of another death caused by a bad tire. I have devoted my career to defending victims involved in tire defect accidents against tire manufacturers and service providers. It is unfortunate that these accidents continue to plague our roadways despite the significant technological advancements over the past thirty years.
Tires on big rigs play a vital role in the driver’s ability to maintain control over the vehicle. As such, proper maintenance and repair are essential to safe operations. However, proper tire maintenance alone does not ensure a tire will function for its intended purpose. In fact, I have seen an uptick in tire-failure accidents occurring on big rigs across the nation despite improvements in safety and maintenance standards. It’s becoming apparent that several latent defects are plaguing these tires and causing accidents similar to the one we have here.
It is important for the families impacted to preserve the evidence as soon as possible to ensure trained professionals can closely examine the tire and all remaining tread pieces. This is the only way to determine if this accident was caused by a tire defect, poor tire maintenance, or some other cause. Absent this information, obtaining justice becomes increasingly tricky.
I pray for the victims’ families and hope they may find peace during this difficult time.
Disclaimer: Our firm uses this blog to start important conversations about consumer safety. Those impacted by this accident, or an accident like it, can reach out to our firm for further information or to have this article removed. This content should not be construed as legal counsel or advice.