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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.”

German De La Riva and Michelle Meza killed in car accident after tire fell off vehicle

Benson, Arizona – Two people were killed when a tire on their SUV fell off, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle.

According to reports, Michell Meza and German De La Riva were traveling on Interstate 10 in Arizona when the back wheel fell off their vehicle, causing the driver, Meza, to lose control. The vehicle rolled multiple times before resting on its roof.

Both German De La Riva and Michelle Meza were killed in the accident. The parents’ five children, who were also in the vehicle, survived the crash.

No further information was immediately available.

The crashworthiness and cause of the tire falling off will need to be determined

This is a horrific accident, and I mourn for the young children who lost their parents in this tragic crash. I hope they find support from friends and family during this difficult time.

When a life is taken unexpectedly, the law can help the surviving family recover financial compensation from any wrongdoer who played a role in the death. In single-vehicle accidents, people often assume that no one is responsible but the driver. This is not always true. In this case, it will be important to find out why the tire fell off the vehicle and whether the SUV protected the parents from preventable injuries.

It goes without saying that tires should not fall off during transit. It will be important to determine why this tire fell off. Did the tire fall off because of a defect in the wheel or axle? If so, the manufacturer of the vehicle may be to blame for this crash. Alternatively, did the wheel fall off because it was not properly installed? If so, recent repair and maintenance records will need to be inspected to determine who was responsible for the error.

Likewise, it will be important to investigate the vehicle to determine if it withstood the rollover accident as it should have. Manufacturers of vehicles must design and produce vehicles to protect their occupants in the event of a crash. All manufacturers know that rollover accidents happen and must design their vehicles to protect occupants during these types of crashes. We have handled hundreds of rollover cases across the nation for families whose loved ones were killed because of roofs, seatbelts, or airbags that did not provide the protection they should have. When a vehicle is defective and does not provide the protection it should during an accident, the manufacturer may be responsible for the resulting deaths and injuries.

At this time, we do not know if the tire fell off because of someone’s mistakes or for some other reason. This will need to be determined. Likewise, we do not know if the vehicle protected the front seat occupants during the crash. This will need to be determined. Trained lawyers can help the surviving family determine this information and assist in holding the responsible parties accountable for the tragic passing of these two parents.

I offer my deepest condolences to the surviving children and pray for their support.


The Ammons Law Firm represents clients nationwide in catastrophic injury and wrongful death litigation, with extensive experience in complex auto/tire defect and commercial vehicle cases.

Disclaimer: This post is not legal advice. Information contained in this blog was compiled from third-party sources or is the opinion of the author. Please inform us immediately if false or misleading information is contained in this post.

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