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Tires falling off vehicles are rarely accidents

We call them accidents. Car accidents. Truck accidents. Accidents. The generic implication of the word accident is that it was not intentional. But of course, we all know some accidents are really not accidental. Drunk driving, always has the volitional act of taking that first drink, no matter how lacking in intention to drive into another vehicle head-on and kill all of the occupants.

A couple mourns the loss of their daughter and the fact that the Lancaster County authorities have declined to prosecute the driver of a truck that lost a tire and wheel, which rolled across the median of the road and smashed into their daughter’s car. They quote the police description of her vehicle after the accident as having been as if it was “hit with a missile.”


Which it was. A loose tire, traveling at highway speeds, has an explosive force when it strikes another object. But it was a freak car accident, who could have foreseen such an event?

They were shocked to learn of the condition of the truck, which violated numerous federal safety requirements and its condition was described by investigators as “rough.” What is more disturbing is the number of “accidents” like this that occur.

Tires coming loose resulted in fatalities in Indian, New Jersey and Michigan, in the last week or so. And that is just running a simple Google search looking for “tire accidents.”

In this case, it appears shockingly poor maintenance of the truck was the cause. Often it is due to bolts on the wheel being inadequately tightened, other times over tightened. Sometimes, the tires fall off the backs of truck beds or bounce off when the truck strikes a pothole.

The cause is almost always negligence, and the results are always tragic.

Source: Pennlive.com, “Two years later, a Hanover family is still looking for justice in their daughter’s death,” Bill and Sharon Clegg, May 1, 2014

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