Salt Lake City, UT – Tragedy struck on Wednesday, June 28, 2023, when a fatal crash occurred on the I-215 West NB on-ramp at approximately 12:48 pm.
Troopers responded to assist with traffic control following the disablement of a concrete pump truck during traffic. The incident resulted from a blown tire on the pump truck that caused damage to its airlines, rendering it immobile.
A short time later, a GMC truck approached the scene and collided with the rear of the disabled pump truck. The driver of the GMC, identified as Dan Wooden, a 54-year-old resident of Salt Lake City, sustained fatal injuries and passed away at the scene. The driver of the pump truck was not injured in the crash.
As a result of the crash investigation, the eastbound to northbound on-ramp from 4700 South had to be closed. Moreover, the flow of traffic on I-215 was restricted to two left lanes for several hours to facilitate the investigation and cleanup efforts.
The Cause of the Tire Failure Must be Determined
A dangerous situation was created because a tire failed on a public roadway. If the dangerous situation was not created, this crash would never have happened. While it is possible for tires to blow out due to road debris, potholes, or other forces of impact, tires may also fail due to poor maintenance and repair or tire defects.
Commercial truck tires are extremely important to road safety and must be constructed with sufficient strength to endure the force and energy exerted upon them during normal operations. When a tire suffers a manufacturing defect, such as inadequate curing or foreign contaminants, the tire is more susceptible to premature failure. Likewise, when trucking companies fail to timely replace worn or damaged tires due to cost-cutting or lack of oversight, the tire is more susceptible to premature failure.
We handled a case similar to this recently where an 18-wheeler was disabled on the roadside due to a tire failure. Our client’s husband crashed into the back of the semi and was killed. The trucking company blamed the deceased for failing to keep a proper lookout. After investigating the crash, we determined that the tire had obvious signs of underinflation, meaning the blown tire was driven underinflated for some time. This weakens the tire and increases the likelihood of failure. The tire should have been replaced, but to save money, the company allowed the tire to remain in service. It was clear that the truck would never have been disabled next to a lane of moving traffic had the tire been replaced. The dangerous situation was created by the company’s negligence, and the case was settled thereafter.
When a truck breaks down on a public roadway and creates an extreme risk of danger to passing motorists, the parties responsible for creating the risk cannot escape liability simply because another party may be partially at fault for the crash. Here, the danger was created by a tire failure. An investigation will need to be conducted to determine why the tire failed. If there is wrongdoing by the trucking company or the tire manufacturer, they should not be permitted to escape liability.
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.