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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.”

James Shade, Four Others Killed in Two-Vehicle Accident after RV Tire Blowout

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A devastating crash on northbound Interstate 81 near Chambersburg resulted in the loss of five lives on Wednesday evening.

At approximately 8:50 p.m., a southbound recreational vehicle, towing a trailer, suffered a tire blowout that caused the RV to veer off the road, through the grassy median, and into oncoming traffic. The RV crashed head-on with a northbound semi-truck driven by James Shade.

Four occupants of the RV and the driver of the tractor-trailer were pronounced dead at the scene. There have been no reports of other injuries.

The tractor-trailer driver was identified as James Shade, a resident of Martinsburg, West Virginia. Authorities identified the occupants of the RV as Donald Molander, Kimberly Molander, Miranda Molander, and Dane Molander.

No further information was immediately available.

The failed tire must be inspected, and the manufacturer must be held responsible if the tire is defective.

A tire manufacturer has a duty to ensure the tires it produces are safe to use on our roadways. When a manufacturer fails to do this, innocent people die. A tire manufacturer is responsible to the surviving family for the losses they suffer because of their loved one’s passing.

We handle crashes across the country just like this that are caused by defective tires. Defective tires are bad tires. Defective tires should never be on our roadways in the first place. Defective tires fail because the manufacturer took shortcuts or did not conduct proper quality control measures.

To determine if a tire is defective, it must be inspected by trained tire defect lawyers. During this inspection, there can be any number of defects identified as the cause of the tire failure.

In some cases, the tire may fail because it was not designed properly. For instance, a manufacturer may produce an RV tire that cannot withstand the weight of an RV over long distances, the very thing RVs are designed for. The tire may last for a year, but over time, it will wear faster than it should, increasing the likelihood of failure. Tires that are not designed properly must be recalled and removed from our roadways to protect other innocent motorists from being killed. Unfortunately, manufacturers tend to recall tires only after countless repeated crashes.

Just recently, Goodyear issued a recall for the G159 RV tire only after 95 people were seriously injured and killed. That tire should have been recalled immediately after it was alleged to be defective nearly twenty years ago.

Tires may also be defective if they are not manufactured properly. This often happens when the tire does not “bond” or stick together properly. A tire that does not bond properly is weak and should not be used. Unfortunately, motorists generally cannot tell if a tire is defective before failure, because the defect is within the tire itself.

By inspecting the internal components of the tire, you can determine if a tire did not bond properly. Evidence of poor bonding can be seen when there are smooth areas between the layers of the tire. This indicates the tire did not stick together as it should have when the manufacturer produced the tire.

This is a very dangerous defect because it causes a tire to lose traction with the road when the tire tread is ripped from the body of the tire.

This leaves drivers that have not been specifically trained to handle such an event with little control of the vehicle, causing the vehicle to crash into whatever is in its path.

We are seeing more and more of these types of tire failures on RVs and semi-trucks across the country, leading to devastating crashes and losses. We recently resolved a case where a Greyhound bus and semi-truck crashed head-on after a tire failure, resulting in the death of eight and injuring over a dozen more. This is only one of many examples of crashes plaguing our roadways and killing innocent victims.

It is clear from the information currently available that this crash was caused by a tire failure of some type. to determine exactly what happened, the tire needs to be inspected. If an inspection determines that the tire failed because of a defect, the manufacturer cannot escape liability for the harm caused by this crash. The surviving families deserve answers and the right to justice for the pain and suffering they must endure by the unexpected passing of their loved ones.


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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