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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.”

Nelson Gonzalez was Killed in a Fatal Accident After His Tire Failed

CHESTERFIELD TOWNSHIP, NJ — New Jersey State Police responded to a vehicle accident that occurred on the NJ Turnpike southbound on the outer roadway Mile Post 55.2 in Chesterfield Twp, Burlington County.

According to initial reports, a Peterbilt dump truck was traveling south when it suffered a right steer axle tire failure, causing the truck to run off the right side of the road, hit a guard rail and chain link fence, then roll over.

Authorities stated that the driver of the truck, Nelson Gonzalez, 45, of Manville, NJ, suffered fatal injuries in the crash.

No further information was immediately available.

Steer axle tire failures are happening nationwide, causing innocent deaths.

I am saddened to learn that another life was lost in a preventable crash. From the news release and the photos provided, it appears that this crash occurred after the truck’s front-right steer axle tire suffered a tread separation, causing the driver to lose control and roll his truck.

Unfortunately, this is a crash I am very familiar with. We are representing families of deceased truckers killed in this same crash in states nationwide. Many of these innocent truckers leave behind wives and children searching for answers in the wake of devastating grief. These are horrific tragedies that are often caused by manufacturers that put profits over people.

In one such case, our client was traveling in Cook County, Illinois, when his truck suffered a front-right steer axle tire failure, causing the truck to pull right, strike an embankment, and crash into a line of trees. The beloved husband and father left behind a grieving family seeking answers from the manufacturer as to why the tire failed prematurely.

In another such case, our client’s husband was traveling through Arizona when his Kenworth tractor suffered a front-left steer axle tire failure as it approached a ravine. The truck pulled hard to the left, causing the truck to crash off the roadway into the ravine below. The truck caught fire and burned. The family left behind is seeking answers from the manufacturer of the tire as to why it failed.

These are only two of many cases where innocent truckers were killed when good, roadworthy steer axle tires failed prematurely. Despite manufacturers knowing the dangers associated with steer axle tire failures, we continue to see this same accident play out time and again. There are a couple of specific tires that I am highly concerned about, given their frequency of failure. We are working tirelessly to have these tires removed from our roadways.

With the limited information available, we cannot determine if the tire in this case failed because of a defect or if it is one that we are seeing repeatedly fail. However, given the facts, the tire should be inspected by trained tire defect attorneys with experience handling this type of accident. If the inspection determines the tire is defective, the manufacturer must account for its failures and the devastating loss of life it has caused. The grieving family deserves answers and compensation for their suffering.

Until then, we will remain committed to calling public awareness of the harm we are seeing across the country in accidents caused by defective steer axle tires and do all we can to hold the manufacturers of these tires accountable for their wrongdoing.

I offer my deepest condolences to the Gonzalez family and all family and friends who have been impacted by this crash.


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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