JEFFERSON COUNTY, Alabama—A 57-year-old woman was killed in a two-vehicle crash outside Irondale, Alabama. The accident occurred around 4:04 p.m. on I-20 near mile marker 136 on October 16, 2022.
Reportedly, the female driver was traveling on I-20 in a Kia Optima when her vehicle was struck by a tire that fell off a trailer towed by a Chevrolet Silverado. The Optima then veered off the roadway and hit a metal light pole. The driver was pronounced dead at the crash scene.
Authorities are continuing to investigate the incident. No further details have been released at this time.
More information will be needed to determine liability for the woman's death.
Although investigators have released few details about this incident, we know the accident could have been avoided entirely had the tire not fallen off the trailer. Unfortunately, hundreds of fatalities on our roadways are caused by preventable situations. In the aftermath of this horrific crash, the victim's family will likely demand more answers about what caused their loved one's death. Indeed, families should not be left to shoulder the financial burden that accompanies an unexpected death without receiving some form of compensation for their loss.
The victim's family will probably benefit from a more thorough investigation into the cause of the accident. Put simply, tires should not be falling off trailers. Therefore, the trailer manufacturer, tire manufacturer, or even a repair shop may share in the liability for the woman's death.
Tire manufacturers must ensure their tires are designed and made safe for the consumer. Tires, especially those designed for trailers, must be able to bear the weight and pressure of the trailer, as well as withstand the friction and heat from the roadway. Likewise, vehicle manufacturers should not sell cars to customers with faulty tires.
Even if tires are manufactured well, a repair shop can cause irreparable harm to the tire if it is not installed correctly. Inadequate repair jobs can cause tires to bulge, wear on one side, pop, or fall off the axle, resulting in deadly crashes. When a repair shop negligently repairs a tire on a trailer, the vehicle's driver may be less likely to notice a problem with the tire until it is too late, as was likely the case in Alabama.
Should further investigation uncover information about the tire, vehicle manufacturer, or a faulty repair job, the victim's family may demand answers from the responsible party and pursue a negligence claim in court. Although it can be difficult to get justice from a major manufacturer, skilled lawyers at The Ammons Law Firm can assist the victim's family in obtaining the answers and compensation they deserve to rebuild their lives after this terrible loss. In addition to providing the family with needed compensation, a lawsuit against a manufacturer or repair shop would help emphasize the importance of making and repairing tires to decrease the risk of injury to the consumer or others on the road.