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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.”

Billy Ziegenbein Killed, and Dean Baker Seriously Injured in a Blown Tire Accident on HWY-275 Near Neligh, Nebraska

Neligh, NE — One person died, and another was critically injured when a pickup truck experienced a tire blowout. The incident occurred approximately 1.5 miles east of Neligh on Highway 275 around 3:49 p.m.

According to reports,  Billy D. Ziegenbein was traveling westbound in a 1997 Ford pickup truck when the front driver’s side tire blew out unexpectedly. The blowout caused the pickup to veer into the opposing traffic lane, colliding head-on with an eastbound 1997 Ford Econoline van driven by Dean G. Baker. Despite Baker’s attempts to maneuver and avoid the pickup, he could not prevent the collision.

Ziegenbein was pronounced dead at the scene, while Baker was transported to a trauma center for medical attention.

Thoughts on tire blowouts on pickup trucks

Tire blowouts happen suddenly and without warning, and the outcome is often catastrophic, as seen in this terrible incident with the Ford truck. Even the most experienced driver can be rendered helpless and unable to react and regain control of their vehicle when sudden tire failure occurs.

The family of Mr. Ziegenbein and the injured deserve to know what caused this tire to fail. Tire failure can happen due to poor tire maintenance or road hazards, but it can also be the direct result of a defect in the tire’s design or construction originating from the manufacturer. Manufacturers have a responsibility to the public to produce safe tires and ensure faulty tires do not make it on our roadways. Flawed products pose serious dangers and place people at risk of severe injury or death, as seen here. When these tires cause harm, the manufacturer should be held accountable for their faulty product.

We do not know what caused the tire failure in this accident. However, a thorough investigation conducted by trained professionals equipped with the knowledge to identify key indicators can unveil the underlying cause of the blowout. If the cause is a manufacturing defect, ensuring manufacturers are held responsible for producing safe and dependable tires is essential in preventing similar tragedies in the future.

Our thoughts are with the family of the deceased and with the injured.


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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