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“I have been prosecuting serious injury and wrongful death cases against trucking companies, auto makers and tire manufacturers for more than 30 years. Our firm maintains this blog to share information and insight on transportation safety issues that continue to arise on our nation’s highways and roads.”

Man killed after a tire failure caused rear-end accident on I-65

WILLIAMSON COUNTY, Tennessee—James Baker, 70, of Nashville, Tennessee, was killed tragically on September 13, 2022, after the dump truck he was driving on I-65 blew a tire and was rear-ended.

According to initial reports, Baker was driving southbound on I-65 and experienced a tire blowout on his dump truck, causing the truck to cross the median and overturn in the left northbound lane. A 23-year-old then rear-ended Baker’s truck.

Baker was killed in the crash and pronounced dead at the scene by first responders. Others involved in the accident, including the 23-year-old unidentified driver, were uninjured.

Authorities have determined that Baker was not wearing his seatbelt at the time of the accident.

Further investigation is ongoing. No additional details about the crash have been made publicly available.

The cause of the tire blowout must be investigated by the surviving family

Baker’s fatal crash would have likely never would have happened had the tire on the truck not failed. Because this accident was most likely preventable, it is important that an independent investigation be conducted into the manufacturing, usage, and repair of the tires to determine who was responsible for the blowout.

Tire failures are common and are a leading cause of fatal truck accidents within the United States. While some tire blowouts may be attributed to improper usage, a good majority of tire failures happen because of a manufacturing defect or poor installation or repair. Thus, a victim of an accident involving a tire failure may have a claim against a manufacturer or repair shop if they are able to trace the failure of the tire back to the responsible party.

Tire manufacturers must regularly check for defects within their products before selling them to the masses. Some of these checks include durability tests, wear and tear tests, friction analysis, and the ability to withstand large amounts of pressure. Dump truck tires must be able to support an incredible amount of weight and endure frequent trips over rugged terrain. If the manufacturer of the tire that blew on Baker’s truck was negligent in creating a tire that could hold up in its intended environment, then Baker’s family could have a direct claim against the manufacturer for a defective product.

Additionally, if the tire was previously serviced or installed by a repair shop, Baker’s family will need help determining whether the tire was placed on the truck properly, inflated within a recommended range, and aligned correctly. If it was not, then the repair shop may need to answer for its negligence in maintaining the truck’s tires.

We offer our condolences to the baker family and pray they may find peace during this difficult time.

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