A single- vehicle accident in Johnson County, North Carolina (NC) caused the death of a passenger riding in the van. According to WNCN.com, around 9 a.m. on September 1, a Toyota Previa was driving east on I-40 in Johnston County near Meadow when the rear passenger tire casing shredded off the tire. The driver lost control of the van causing it to careen and flip over multiple times.
In addition to the driver, the van carried his wife, four children, and one child’s boyfriend. The boyfriend, who was only 20 years old, died in the crash. The extent of the family’s injuries is unknown at this time.
The young man who died in this crash was likely close to the driver’s family and may have spent a lot of time with them. Despite this relationship, though, his own family must be shocked by his unexpected and tragic death and I extend my deepest condolences to his loved ones during this difficult time.
It’s likely no one will discover the cause of the blowout. A shredded tire is caused by a loss of air pressure in the tire, but there are a host of reasons a tire can lose air, including road hazards like nails or glass, an improperly tuned suspension, incorrect wheel angle, or a general lack of maintenance on the owner’s part. Whether it happens suddenly or slowly, at some point the tire is running flat, which causes abrasion between the sidewall and the casing. Eventually, the abrasion can become so severe that the casing gives out and shreds right off the tire.
Properly maintaining a vehicle is part of responsible car ownership. Many newer cars are equipped with sensors that detect low tire pressure, but every driver should have access to a pressure gauge (like the ones found at gas station air compressors) and know how to check each tire’s air pressure to make sure it is within the manufacturer’s guidelines.
A passenger is by definition one who is not the driver, so he or she has little control over a crash that could alter life forever. Regardless of a victim’s relationship with the driver, he or she should receive the compensation needed to lessen the financial burden after a serious crash. After all, this is the very purpose of insurance.