SUFFEX, Virginia – A two-vehicle accident involving a truck and a Kia Forte has left an 11-year-old child dead.
Preliminary reports suggest that a 2009 International 4300LP converted ambulance truck was headed southbound on I-95 when the back tire blew out. The sudden blowout caused the truck to lose control and run off I-95 and onto Route 301, where a 2021 Kia Forte was traveling northbound. The truck smashed into the passenger side of the Kia.
Authorities reported that the Kia was occupied by 44-year-old Henry James Hall Jr. and two children. All three occupants were transported to Bon Secours Southside Medical Center for treatment. Authorities reported that one of the children, an unidentified 11-year-old girl, died from her injuries.
No further information was immediately available.
Fatal tire blowout accidents must be investigated to ensure the appropriate parties are held responsible
I am deeply saddened to learn of another fatal accident caused by a sudden tire failure. Despite technological advancements, these accidents continue to plague our nation’s roadways and cause preventable deaths on a seemingly daily basis. This accident will need an independent investigation conducted by professionals trained in tire defect litigation to determine who is at fault.
In this case, it is not immediately apparent who owned the converted truck, making it difficult to determine who was responsible for the truck's maintenance and repair. However, assuming this was a commercial vehicle, the truck owner or company would be responsible for maintaining and repairing the truck to prevent accidents like this from occurring. A company cannot neglect needed maintenance and repair and then claim “accident” when a preventable blowout occurs. Steps must be taken before travel to ensure the vehicle’s tires are in good working order. This is especially true with commercial vehicles that pose a serious risk to other motorists in the event of a blowout.
While poor maintenance and repair must be investigated, it may be that the tire failed for reasons outside the owner’s control. Over the past few years, we have seen an alarming number of commercial tires fail across the country for latent manufacturing defects. This is very troubling. Commercial vehicles are difficult to control in emergency situations and take significant skill to navigate safely. Unfortunately, most drivers are not trained for such scenarios and have no control over the truck’s path. If that happened here, we cannot blame the driver for the emergency he was unlikely prepared for. As such, the manufacturer, the creator of the sudden emergency, must be held responsible for producing and placing a defective tire into the stream of commerce.
Tire defect cases are complex matters that require trained lawyers and industry experts. Manufacturers fight tirelessly to avoid liability for defective tires. Proving a tire is defective subjects the manufacturer to liability for the injuries caused by the defect and may lead to a nationwide recall of similarly situated tires. Given that you cannot price a child’s life and that there may be hundreds of thousands of tires sold, losing a tire defect case can be very expensive. Nevertheless, such litigation must go on to prevent further accidents and compensate the grieving family for their loss.
While we cannot say with certainty who is responsible for this accident with the details currently available, attorneys trained in tire defect litigation can determine precisely what happened and hold the appropriate parties responsible. Until then, we offer our deepest condolences to the grieving family and pray that those injured may recover fully from their injuries.